The cornucopia is a traditional symbol of a bountiful harvest. This beloved hallmark of the harvest season has long been associated with a plentiful yield. Filled with flowers and produce, the cornucopia proudly displays the best of the year’s crops.
The name cornucopia comes from the Latin word that translates as “horn of plenty”. The tradition dates back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The tale originated with the god Zeus and his nanny, a beloved goat whose charmed horn was said to bring riches to those possessed it.
In the modern world, the cornucopia has come to represent an abundant harvest. In the United States, the cornucopia is commonly used as decor to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It is often filled to overflowing with fruits, vegetables, and seasonal flowers.
Making a cornucopia centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table is a fun and simple project. The horn-shaped baskets, usually made of wicker, are sold at craft stores everywhere. Depending on the size of your table, you can choose from an array of sizes suitable for every home.
Because the cornucopia is a symbol of the harvest season, it is appropriate to display it throughout the autumn months. Not just for Thanksgiving, the cornucopia makes a beautiful decoration from September through the start of the holiday season.
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When choosing flowers for your cornucopia, traditional fall colors are the most popular. Look for chrysanthemums in shades of yellow, orange, and rust. Roses in yellow, deep red, and peach hues are also festive this time of year. Cheery sunflowers make a bold display and are found in yellow, orange, and burgundy colors. After you have placed your flowers, fill in small spaces with bright bunches of berries.
If you wish to use your cornucopia for longer than just the Thanksgiving holiday, you will need to periodically add water to your flowers. Place them in small vessels that are easily hidden by the basket. Floral foam designed to hold water is a great way to arrange the stems and cut down on the frequency of waterings. Floral foam is readily available at craft stores and may also be sold by your local florist.
Another option for a long-lasting cornucopia is to use dried flowers in the display. This eliminates the need for watering and ensures that the flowers will last throughout the season. Dried leaves from local trees also exhibit brilliant colors in the fall. They would make a striking addition to your basket.
Because the horn of plenty is associated with a rich harvest, be sure to include fruits and vegetables in your display. Bright red and green apples are a colorful choice and will remain firm for several weeks. Other long-lived options include whole pomegranates, small pumpkins or gourds, and dried decorative corn cobs.
For a short-term display, tender fruits and vegetables will work well. Heirloom tomatoes, with their unique colors and shapes, would be beautiful here. If you are only using your cornucopia for a day or two, try bunches of grapes draped artfully in the curves of the basket.
Whether you display your harvest decor for a few days or a few months, you can easily create your own show-stopping centerpiece. Choose flowers and fruits that coordinate with your Thanksgiving plates and napkins, or customize a cornucopia to celebrate all season long. Either way, your one-of-a-kind cornucopia will wow your family and friends!