Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Christmas greenery

1. Some of the things I remember as a child growing up in the 30s and 40s in the country at Little Birch …
Don’t take out greenery – holly or mistletoe – burn it in house [Hereford, April 2012].

2. All greenery had to be removed from inside the house before Twelfth Night or bad luck would come [Potten End, Hertfordshire, August 2004].

3. It is most important that the greenery of Christmas decorations is taken down after Twelfth Night and ivy and the Christmas tree were not burnt [St Davids, Dyfed, October 1991].

4. A: Christmas trees should not be brought indoors before Christmas Eve
B: Holly must be taken down before Twelfth Night.
A: Yes, but it’s lucky to leave a bit up [Cambridge, November 1985].

Image: Holly wreaths, Columbia Road Flower Market, Tower Hamlets, London, Sunday 12 December 2010; Francesco Cillini.