For westerners, fresh garland may be just a part of their Christmas decoration. But if you look around the world, you will see that, with slightly different materials used, fresh garland is used for different purposes. While we may know of fresh garland as being used to decorate the house during the holiday season, others use fresh garland to establish a way of life.
On the biggest continent in the world, Asia, fresh garland means a totally different thing than it does to westerners. For these people, garland holds holy powers. In Pakistan and Malaysia for example, many give the fresh garland of flowers to the sick and on the graves of their deceased as a part of an Islamic ceremony. In Thailand, fresh garland is used in the Buddhist holy day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teacher’s day and even in Death ceremonies, as well as in praising all the holy things they have faith in. For these people, however, dreaming of fresh garland means the opposite thing; they believe that they will soon get in trouble somewhere in the near future if garland appears in their dreams. In India, they use fresh garland made of flowers for wedding ceremonies. Fresh garlands are put it in front of the doors and on deities for everyday thanksgiving. Couples will sometimes also exchange the fresh garlands with each other as it symbolizes one soul in two bodies. The same goes for Thailand, where during other occasions fresh garland is used extensively to show respect. They also put it on the top of the door, which promotes good luck while the wind blows the good scent of flowers into the home.
When living in Nepal, many use fresh garland for blessing a new home, baby, marriage, birthday, and especially their festival called “Tihar”. They put it on brothers and sisters’ necks to celebrate, as well as dogs’ necks to treat them as equals and to break the boundaries that man has created between animal and man. With the amount of love and respect many around the world show their fresh garland, it is not hard to find many purchasing them to keep up with their traditional values, as well create their own memories with family members and loved ones. Fresh garland, something that can be so inexpensive and common, still holds mystical powers for many, especially during the season of Christmas.