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Are Red and Green Christmas Colors?

Why Does the Church Use White?

red and green Christmas bulbs on tree

Red and green seem to be the most popular Christmas colors, at least in Western countries. However, white, silver, gold, and blue are also used, with less prominence. Red and green lights and decorations scatter the landscape during the month of December and even late November.

Green and red colors may have become associated with Christmas because greenery with red berries would have been commonly available as a decoration in the late fall and early winter months of the Northern Hemisphere. This is when Christmas is celebrated.

Additionally, Christmas trees are green, and red is the color of Santa's clothing, so the two colors are popularly associated with Christmas customs and icons.

However, the technical liturgical color of Christmas, for Catholics, is white. This is not to say there is anything wrong with red and green Christmas items (or items of any other color you may associate with Christmas), or that you should take down all of your non-white decorations. It is just that in the setting of Catholic worship, the primary color will be white.


Updated 12-16-2016

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