Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A wreath is a ring made of flowers, leaves, and sometimes fruits, used as an ornament, hanging on a wall or door, or resting on a table. A wreath woven with flowers is used as a garment in some zones of Polynesia around the head, as a diadem; sometimes referred to as a lei. By extension the name wreath applies in art to the carved or modelled representation of this ring.
In Greek mythology Apollo is represented wearing a laurel-wreath, and wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions and poetic meets under his care. Dionysus is crowned with a wreath of ivy (in his wild and dangerous aspect), or with the vine, as the inventor of civilizing wine. An oak wreath, wherever it is carved, recalls Zeus, who had usurped the ancient oak-grove oracle at Dodona. Wreaths of roses are a late addition to the imagery of Aphrodite.
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