Harbinger of Spring - Blooming Willow
All our life, no matter how many years we have lived, we perceive spring as a miracle. The forest is still bare, unprepossessing, leafless, but what are these smart trees on a black and gray background? This is a willow! Recent Cinderellas turned into beauties thanks to fluffy lumps yellow from pollen - flowers that had recently been densely dotted with bare branches.
Several types of plants of the willow genus are popularly called a willow. For example: Willow Goat, Willow Wolf, Willow Holly, etc. In total, the family of willow in our country has more than 120 species - black-tailed, white-mouthed, snails, sheluga, rakita, molokita, weeping willow, goat willow ... Their life force is unusual: any stump, any twig stuck into the ground, quickly covered with numerous shoots .
Perhaps, people only associate so many hopes with willow. Lithuanian peasant women in old times prayed for willow to give them a child. It was believed that a willow thrown against the wind would pacify the storm, and a thrown into the fire flame would calm the fire.
The ancient Slavs called the willow in honor of the god Perun the “perun vine.” Children were bathed "for the health of their bodies" in a decoction of willow twigs. They were stuck in the ceiling gaps of the hut from lightning, in the stable - to preserve livestock, in the fields - to protect the crop from hail, mice and moles. The wedding around the rocket bush was also a primordially Slavic rite.
In ancient times, it was believed that willow gives eloquence, so it was called the tree of poets and singers. Willow branches at the gate drove away evil spirits. For the first pasture, cattle were driven out by consecrated willow, with its help one could find a treasure. And in China, willow was a symbol of spring and female beauty, softness and suppleness.
There were other beliefs. Ancient Jews called this tree a symbol of unhappiness, sadness, sadness, death, burial (weeping willow). The ancient Greeks dedicated willow to the female deities Hekate and Persephone, one way or another connected with death. In Japan, this is a tree of sadness, weakness and at the same time tenderness and grace, tranquility and constancy, the union of lovers.
Willow, or krasnotal - a ritual tree of Palm Sunday, the spring Christian holiday, dedicated to the entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The people of Judah met him with vayas — branches of the Jerusalem willow or date palm.
From willow branches weave baskets, furniture, mats, decorations for the home and garden. And the wind, or white willow, has the most viscous wood. It has long been used to make hoops for barrels, and most importantly, magnificent Russian arches for pit horses, under which silver bells rang monotonously ...