There are eight main Celtic
Festivals - earth's natural calendar, the cycles of Nature - recognised
by Celts, Pagans and Wiccans as sabbats :
Samhain, Midwinter Solstice or Yule, Imbolc, Spring/Vernal
Equinox, Beltane, Midsummer solstice, Lammas and the Autumn Equinox
The changes in the seasons
reflect our lives - changing through birth, maturity, old age and death.
Solstice Celebrations - make a wreath
Making a Solstice Wreath
Wear a solstice wreath and commune with nature as you celebrate
this special time of the year - Summer or Winter solstice -
they look good too!
It doesn't take long or cost much to put a beautiful wreath
Any wreath firstly needs a secure base as this is the framework
for any decorative material, such as flowers, berries, ribbons
If you plan on making a delicate, ethereal, faery type solstice
wreath you need to use a fine base to get the best effect -
thin gauge wire is very effective.
The main materials used for bases in wreath making are: wire,
straw or vines. If you want to make a fast wreath you can buy
ready-made bases in wire, foam or straw.
of the Wreath
The wreath was originally worn during
religious rites in ancient Persia. The Greeks called
them a 'diadem', meaning bound around. Wreath
comes from the old English 'writhen', meaning to
twist or writhe. Wreathes were first made by twisting
evergreen branches into a circlets, and the Greeks and
Romans placed laurel leaf wreathes on the heads of Olympic
athletes, and olive branches on brave warriors.
In Germany wreathes were lit with candles during the
dark winter days as a symbol of hope for the sunny days
of Spring. In Scandinavia lighted candles were placed
around a wheel, to ask the god of light to turn the
circle of nature back towards the sun so the days would
lengthen and bring warmth back to earth. A holly wreath
was considered a protection from the winter spirits
and if you received a wreath of birch it held the message
that somebody loved you.
Wreath making materials
Wire - thin florist's wire is generally the best option
as it's not too heavy to wear and can be covered up easily with
flowers, leaves and ribbons.
It is also easy to shape by hand without using special tools.
Florist's green or brown tape, or coloured pipe cleaners can
be useful for securing and attaching purposes.
You can use the florist's wire to attach your materials to the
wire base, then further secure and cover up any sharp ends with
tape. It is best to attach your flowers and foliage in small
clusters, working your way along your wire circle, wrapping
the fine wire round your wreath as you progress. If you are
covering the whole wreath in order to make a complete circlet
of flowers (I think this looks the best) you will need to carefully
tuck your final bunch's stems under the first cluster. If you
cannot manage to cover all the wire, it can be easily disguised
with ribbons and bows which should be in a colour and thickness
to compliment your chosen flowers. Gaps can also be conveniently
covered with bunches of berries!
Straw - make a natural wreath by shaping straw
into a circle and then tying it along sections with string or
long flexible pieces of straw
(try damping it to make it easier). Or if you want an easier
wreath you can buy ready-made straw wreaths at many craft shops.
You can make an attractive straw wreath by plaiting three long
sections of straw, but this is more difficult for the novice
wreath maker (I failed miserably with this technique first time,
and ended up with a wreath more suitable for Worzel Gummidge
than a fair faery! ) Straw does has an advantage over wire in
that you can push the stems right into the base. You can also
glue them in for added strength.
Vines - a really natural looking wreath can
be made by making a circlet with honeysuckle, ivy or grapevines,
but you need to plan ahead with this wreath, as it makes it
much easier to shape if you soak the woody stems overnight in
water. Entwine the damp vines into a circle and then leave to
dry. If you have made the wreath dense enough, then you should
be able to just push your flowers and foliage into the gaps
of the vines. To secure the materials further you can carefully
tie the materials onto the vines with a fine green twine and
then further secure with green tape. I find big flower heads
or secured bunches will generally stay in the vines by themselves.
With all the wreaths you will need to keep them sprayed with
water for as long as possible before the solstice celebrations,
otherwise you risk a wilted wreath! As part of the celebration
it is traditional to cast your wreath upon a solstice bonfire
for good luck, however, it is not advisable with the wire based
one. Happy Solstice!
related ideas to make money by working from home
a solstice wreath
|If you want a light ethereal solstice
wreath - Titania, Queen of the Fairies style - get some narrow gauge
wire (22) - from a florist or hardware store. Measure a circlet
on your head and then just keep winding the wire round into further
circles, finishing by winding the wire in and around the circles.
Tuck any sharp ends into the base.
|Take long lengths of ivy (previously soaked in water
-makes them more malleable) and wind them in and out of the wire
circlet, covering as much of the base as possible, tucking ends
in between the wire strands.
||If there are any obvious gaps you can push smaller
pieces of ivy into the base and secure with wire.
Secure the bunches of flowers with wire, tags or tape.
Attach the flower bunches with green tape along the wreath.
The tape won't be visible if you secure it underneath the ivy
As you progress cover the previous bunch of flowers' stems with
the heads of the new ones.
Any gaps can easily be filled by adding extra flowers or by winding
Once your flowers are all in place give your solstice wreath a
spray of water to make sure it stays fresh and doesn't wilt on
To finish off wind a length of ribbon around, curling the
ends to complete the effect.
Place on head and then you can celebrate the summer
solstice in style - a Midsummer night's dream!