Following on from yesterday's post.
|By Robert Schneider [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons|
Ivy is the counterpart to holly both in the carol and in decoration. Like the evergreen hollies, ivy stays green throughout the year which led some cultures to believe it had magical properties. Apparently it could keep a home free from lightening strikes and ward off the devil. It symbolized eternal life and rebirth. In some cultures, ivy was a symbol of marriage and friendship, perhaps due to its tendency to cling.
Despite many customs from pagan celebrations being incorporated by Christians into religious holidays, for a while ivy wasn't one of those to be embraced. Due to its ability to grow in shade it was thought that it signified secrecy and debauchery. However, the custom of decorating with holly and ivy during Christian holidays was eventually accepted, probably because ivy could be found everywhere in the hedgerows where people foraged for items to decorate their homes while holly wasn't so easily available.
In ancient Rome, ivy was associated with Bacchus (known as Dionysus in Greek mythology), god of wine and revelry. This fits with another theory, that ivy can neutralise the bad effects of alcohol. Allegedly, alcohol drunk from a goblet hewn from ivy wood could eliminate the ill effects of the drink.
Where can I get one of those goblets?
That's me in case you are wondering. I forgot that my giveaway had come to an end *facepalm* I'm blaming the pain from my trapped nerve!
Anywho, I've randomised the draw and the winner is Julie Small.
I've sent you a message Juile. You might want to check your spam.
Spam spam spam spam.