The name of this herb now commonly associated with pizza comes from the Greek words oros, mountain, and ganos, joy, so that it’s literally "the joy of the mountains." In ancient Greece, oregano became a symbol of happiness due to the seemingly unending profusion of colorful purple flowers abloom on the wild plants spread like vivid carpet across the hilly Mediterranean landscape. When it sprang up around a grave, it became a spiritual sign that the deceased was having a joyous afterlife. Wreaths of oregano in full flower were commonly worn by both the bride and groom at Greek and Roman weddings to symbolize the joyfulness of marriage and happiness of the couple.
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