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What are the 3 main Colours of Christmas?

What are the 3 main Colours of Christmas?

The three main colours associated with Christmas are green, red, and gold. These colours have become symbolic of the holiday season and are used extensively in Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, cards and other items. Understanding the history and symbolism behind these iconic Christmas colours can help appreciate why they have come to represent this beloved holiday.


Red is undoubtedly the colour most associated with Christmas. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed during his crucifixion. It is also connected to the apples on the Paradise Tree, representing the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Throughout the month of December, red is ubiquitous – adorning Christmas trees, wreaths, candles, house exteriors, clothing and more. Red serves as a lively, festive accent colour during the holidays. It conjures feelings of warmth, love, comfort, and the reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus.

The use of red to represent Christmas dates back centuries. Historical records show that in the 15th century, English Christians would use red holly and ivy to decorate homes and churches. Paying a visit or sending a red-coloured gift signified Christmas blessings.

Around the same time, Dutch Christians started the tradition of placing red poinsettias around the home. Originating in Mexico, these vibrant red and green plants became a popular Christmastime flower.

The 19th century saw the creation of the iconic Coca-Cola Santa Claus advertisements, forever linking the colours red and white with Christmas. This Christmas colour combination remains popular today and serves as inspiration for all kinds of festive decor.


The second most popular Christmas colour is green. This colour represents nature, renewal, and the eternal life promised by Jesus.

Evergreen plants like Christmas trees, mistletoe, holly, and ivy have been used for winter festivities since pagan times. Ancient cultures saw evergreens as a sign of life amidst the dark, dead winter. Christians adapted that symbolism, using evergreen plants to represent the eternal life offered by God through Jesus.

The first known Christmas tree dates back to 16th century Germany – with evergreen fir trees decorated with candles, apples, and coloured paper. Christmas trees spread across Europe and then made their way to England and America in the 19th century.

Today, the Christmas tree remains the most prominent display of the colour green during the holidays. Additional green decorations like wreaths, pinecones, and garlands further represent life, rebirth, and the promise of spring.

Green is also sometimes used in Christmas wrapping paper or on Christmas sweaters. It provides a natural, refreshing contrast from the ubiquitous red decorations.


Gold symbolizes wealth, royalty, and the precious gifts given to baby Jesus by the three wise men. It is incorporated into Christmas decorations and clothing to signify divinity, virtue, and enlightenment.

The three gifts from the Magi were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold was considered the most precious of these gifts, befitting a king. The gold that adorns manger scenes and Christmas decorations commemorates the recognition of Jesus Christ as a King and God’s son.

In medieval times, golden Christmas ornaments were a sign of prestige that only the wealthy could afford. The lavish use of gold demonstrated devotion to God through Jesus.

Gold Christmas decorations continue to represent Jesus’s royal status and the spiritual gifts he offers humanity. The colour evokes feelings of wisdom, wealth, and wonder. Its warm glow provides a festive shimmer to holiday decor.

Gold decorations come in many forms – glittering garland, glass ornaments, candles, tinsel, and angel hair on the Christmas tree. Gold ribbons and bows adorn wreaths and wrapped gifts. And of course, wise men figurines in manger scenes are often painted gold or dressed in golden capes.


The prominent Christmas colours of red, green, and gold each hold special symbolism and history. Their use in holiday celebrations is a tradition that dates back centuries and continues to thrive today.

Red represents the blood of Christ and the apples from the Paradise Tree. It signifies love, comfort, and sacrifice.

Green symbolizes nature, renewal, and eternal life in Christ. Evergreen boughs and trees promise that life persists even in the dead of winter.

Gold indicates wealth, divinity, and the gifts of the Magi. Its shiny brilliance conjures feelings of wisdom, royalty, and spiritual enlightenment.

When you see these festive colours adorning homes, public spaces, clothing, and more, remember the meaningful symbolism they carry. The ubiquity of red, green, and gold each December helps make the Christmas season feel special, nostalgic, and filled with beloved traditions. Their rich history and associations deepen the holiday’s significance.


Source Key Points on Christmas Colours Editors. “The History of Christmas.”, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, – Ancient pagan cultures used evergreens in winter festivals – Christians adapted that symbolism for Christmas. – Red apples represented fall of man in Paradise Tree tradition.
Miles, Clement A. “Christmas.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 Jan. 2022, – Late 15th century English Christians used red holly and ivy to decorate for Christmas. – Red poinsettias popularized by Dutch Christians in 16th century.
Collins, Ace. “The Colorful History of Christmas.” The Society Pages, 30 Nov. 2021, – Red and white Coca-cola Santa advertising in 1930s made those iconic Christmas colours.
Palowski, Jenna. “The Meaning Behind the Colors of Christmas.” The Spruce, 25 Nov. 2021, – Gold symbolizes Jesus’s royal status and enlightenment.

Red and green have been associated with Christmas since at least the 15th century. The symbolic meaning behind these colors developed over time. Red represents the blood of Christ and the fall of man. Green signifies life, rebirth, and the promise of spring.

Gold was added to the palette of Christmas colors in medieval times. It signifies Jesus’s royal status, divinity, and the gifts of the Magi.

The ubiquity of these colors in Christmas decorations connects today’s celebrations to centuries-old traditions. Their rich symbolism imbues the holiday with deeper meaning.


In summary, the three main colors of Christmas are red, green and gold.

Red represents the blood of Christ, love and comfort. Green symbolizes life, rebirth and nature. Gold signifies royalty, wisdom and divinity.

The history behind these colors originates from medieval Christian traditions using decorations like holly, ivy and poinsettias. Their symbolism has endured over centuries, making red, green and gold the quintessential Christmas colors.

When you see these colors displayed during the holidays, remember the meaningful story they represent – one of hope, sacrifice and the renewal of life. The vibrant Christmas palette is a visual reminder of this joyous season.