Wreath Garland – History, Meaning, Purpose and Symbolism

    A garland, also known as lei or wreath typically means or refers to a decorative braid commonly composed of combinations of flowers, leaves, ribbons, and other materials. A flower garland common in Hawaii is a chain of flowers that is mostly hung on the neck during celebrations. 

Rosette Garland in Red and Silver color scheme
Rosette Garland in red and silver color scheme

    Although a garland is synonymously called wreath, they both have their differences. A garland is a long string that is usually a flexible draped along an object and can be made in a circular shape, a wreath is an arrangement of flowers and other materials fastened in a ring. (All good) 

    These eye-catching garlands are present mostly at every life event such as weddings, graduations, festivals, religious events (baptismal and Sunday mass), pageants, vacations, and even at funerals. These garlands often serve a simple purpose; to be used as a decoration to fill empty bland spaces or be used by an individual to be worn on the head or hung on the neck as a necklace.

Gold, blue and white event garland
Gold, blue and white garland wreath for events

    A garland does not only serve as a decoration. In fact, it has a wide variety of symbolism depending on the user or event. A garland generally symbolize represents purity, beauty, peace, love and passion. But during the ancient times, a garland is usually given to a person who had distinguished themselves in the fields of arts, literature, athletics or in the military. Christian people have also a different interpretation of it as they regard garlands as a symbol of their Creator’s infinite or never-ending love due to its circular form. 

    Garlands have been a part of traditional and religious practices from ancient times. Flower garlands play a significant role in Hindus. Especially for them who use garlands for religious practices, they must carefully select flowers and leaves according to its characteristics as they will offer it to their Gods in temples and even at their homes. This ritual is called “puja.” 

    Do Filipinos wear garland? Yes. If you happen to visit one of the churches in the Philippines, there you can see one of its varieties – the Sampaguita wreath or Sampaguita garland which has a very fragrant smell and often used for the saints. Another popular garland are the event garlands which are typically given to special guests or speakers.

Dark red in gold detail garland
Rosette Garland in dark red color with gold highlights