Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Santa’s crimson and fur-lined coat?

Shiny holly leaves and berries?

Colourful poisonous, hallucinogenic mushrooms?

Or medieval paintings in East Anglian churches?

Just how did red, green and white become the conventional colours of Christmas?

Agaricus mushroom

Dr Spike Bucklow from Cambridge University’s Hamilton Kerr Institute is questioning the common belief that the traditional festive shades are a legacy of the Victorians. For the past three years, he has researched the art history of medieval wooden rood screens in churches across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Here – from the bright rainbow palette of the 21st Century Christmas – he travels back in time to present a theory on who might have colour-coded Christmas.

Source: BBC News Watch the video

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