Is Red carpet a European tradition?
Back from Troy
by Shahin Shajari Kohan

  According to Greek myths, when Agamemnon returned from the Trojan War, his wife welcomed him back by spreading a red carpet and saying, “My dear husband and my lord; let’s your domicile be the first place where your feet touch the ground. I hope your house will be the first place in this country where your feet touch the ground.” Agamemnon answered by saying, “Red carpet is special to gods and I am a mortal man. I don’t dare to tread on the path of gods.”
The red carpet has been a sign of veneration since the very beginning of human civilization and has been spread before nobles or heroes. A very long red carpet was spread across the river as a sign of welcome to US President’s envoy, James Madison in 1821. The red carpet was more widely used in 1902 and a long red carpet was been spread between the platform and the entrance of the central railway station in New York as a sign of respect for customers. The first red carpet ceremony for an artistic event was in 1865 during inaugural ceremony of the oldest playhouse in New Jersey. The first red carpet ceremony for movies was held at Venice Film Festival in 1932 which was, of course, different from present-day ceremonies as technical crewmembers like editors and musical players paraded side by side the actors and directors on the red carpet. The red carpet was first added to Oscar ceremony in 1954 and has been, thereafter, a regular part of that ceremony. The red carpet in some festivals like Oscar and BAFTA is different from the red carpet ceremony which is held to inaugurate a movie. Presence on the red carpet of festivals is honorary, but attending red carpet ceremony of movies is obligatory for actors and filmmakers. Of course, both ceremonies are the same in terms of appearance; filmmakers and film stars walk on the red carpet while photographers, lining both sides of the carpet, take their photos and reporters run interviews with them.


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