The red carpet has become a mandatory piece in entertainment events such as award ceremonies, galas, and dinners. As artists walk down the carpet, they showcase their fashion sense attracting headlines such as the best dressed at the Oscars and the like.
The red carpet is also used in weddings and welcoming political dignitaries. However, the crimson piece has a rather disturbing history that is not as glamorous as the glitz it is accorded today. It dates back to 2500 years ago and has links to the Greek history.
According to a CNN article, the first written mention of a red carpet is found in a Greek play script called “Agamemnon” back in 458 BC written by Aeschylus. King Agamemnon goes away to fight in the Trojan Wars leaving behind his wife Clytemnestra. He is away in battle for a while and they both fall in love with other people.
She speaks of a “floor of crimson broideries for the king’s path.” When the king returns home victorious, he brings along his concubine Cassandra. Clytemnestra is not happy despite having an affair as well.
Though the king was reluctant to walk on the red carpet saying it was only for the gods, his wife convinces him to do it. The script reads, “Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord touch the earth.
The CNN text says accounts differ and the queen might have killed Agamemnon or her lover murdered him. She also kills Cassandra.
Red in ancient Greece was a divine color and it was almost inappropriate for the mortals to stand on it. Besides, it portrays royalty and stardom.
When the former US President James Monroe visited Georgetown, the people allegedly rolled out a red carpet to welcome him onto dry land from a riverboat.
In the 20th century, the New York Central Railroad from 1902 welcomed passengers aboard with a red carpet. Later in 1922, a crimson-hued carpet was laid in front of the Egyptian Theater for the Hollywood Premiere of Robin Hood film.
In 1961, the red carpet was introduced at the 33rd Academy Awards at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
The trend has gained momentum and today, you can find a red carpet at myriad of events. Actually, The Oscars red carpet takes 48 hours to set up.
Now that you know a little bit of history about the red carpet, you will not only feel excited about walking on it but also understand where it originated. Despite the nasty history, it adds glamour to events.