Myrtle (stories and legends).
Modestly from plants, flower exile paradise of Adam and royal brides - myrtle - so popular among the peoples of different countries, he would be the envy of many luxurious colors. But the beauty of myrtle - only odorous shiny leaves.
According to an ancient Arab legend, Adam took myrtle with him from heaven to settle on this sinful earth at least one of the plants adorning a garden of bliss; myrtle so in ancient times as a symbol of hope, an echo of heavenly happiness. According to other sources, the birthplace of myrtle - Persia, where he was a long time ago moved from Egypt, where we can find his image: on the monuments of the Pharaohs myrtle branches are usually weeping and moving in front of the procession of women.
In an even greater premium myrtle the ancient Jews: it was called "Abot" and was considered an emblem of peace. Jewish law prescribes herbs to clean his tent during the week-long celebrations to commemorate the exodus from Egypt. Unity plant myrtle, palm fronds, branches of a weeping willow tree and the fruit of good (lemons), they called it "Arang min" and depicted mystical union with the deity of his creation.
In myrtle bush appeared to Zechariah and the angel, proclaiming the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, so that its branches were instructed to use during religious ceremonies. There was also the custom of decorating myrtle wreaths dead, but the Christians, he did not catch on. A custom of crowning of the bride's head, on the contrary, is still preserved in some countries, especially in Germany.
No less respect myrtle used by the ancient Greeks. They believed that this plant - the memory of the crime of the goddess of wisdom Minerva. Legend has it that the nymph Myrsini, which Minerva enjoy and admire, won the goddess in the race. Envy eclipsed admiration goddess favorite, and Minerva nymph killed in revenge for the hurt feelings.
But recollecting herself, she was horrified and begged the gods, so they left her at least some recollection of Myrsini. The gods took pity, and from the body of the deceased has grown elegant, like herself, a sapling - myrtle. However, myrtle played no part in the rituals dedicated to Minerva. He was a tree dedicated to Venus, which hid him from the faun, coming naked out of the sea waves.
According to another legend, a wreath of myrtle was crowned Venus in the famous dispute about beauty, and thanks to him, something Paris and gave her an apple. However, Venus and myrtle branches used as a whip: as they say, it is carved of Psyche, when she taken in head to catch up with Venus in beauty. Later myrtle was dedicated companion of Venus - Grace, statues which were holding a branch of myrtle as a symbol of sensual love. But serving the Greeks a symbol of love, symbolized myrtle and gloomy afterlife.
In the realm of shadows formed myrtle mysterious tunnels and tents, which were wandering souls of men, committed suicide by a maddening passion. Myrtle branches also decorated the graves of loved ones especially. In the place in honor of Venus celebrations all Greeks to adorn themselves with wreaths of myrtle. They were decorated with the bride and groom on their wedding day. In addition to the festivities of Venus, myrtle, and played a major role in the celebration of Ceres, Proserpine and Bacchus.
Mirta was a place in the home of the Greeks: myrtle wreaths have been a sign of power higher Athenian ranks, with myrtle is in the hands came and asylum seeking sympathy. But the most original was the custom to wear a myrtle wreath on the one who wanted to recite poetry or Aeschylus, Simonides, that expressed a special reverence to these poets.
Myrtle twined and lyre, when someone wanted to sing his improvisation. Curiously one medieval tradition of turning it into a tree Moorish knight, who, like many unfortunate, was captivated by the insidious witch, she turns boring lovers in the myrtle, olive, and even rocks and animals. However, the brave knight owned white magic and freed not only themselves, but also their predecessors.
The Romans myrtle wreath adorned the head of the god of marriage - Hymen. Believed that myrtle has a stimulating effect. For this reason, the girlfriend of fun - April 2 Thais crowned statue of Venus-Eritsiny myrtles and roses, begging her to give them like art. A noble Roman women adorn themselves in April myrtle, offering a sacrifice to Venus, the goddess and prayed a little longer to keep them young and beautiful. Custom, like this, is preserved in Italy, where women are added to the bath myrtle essence for the same purpose. They say these tubs do not neglect men.
Besides cosmetic, in ancient times had myrtle and medical importance. Wine infusion of myrtle fruit was considered an elixir of health and vigor, and the young, not yet blooming, prepared in a special way the buds used as a means of strengthening the stomach.
Temple of Romulus, to the rank of a deity, in 306 BC was decorated with the first in Rome hourglass, and before them planted two myrtle tree - one of them was identified with the patricians, the other - with the plebeians; believed that their growth is even possible to judge the superiority of one or the other party. A woven of myrtle wreath honored in Rome heroes of the civil war or valor without the shedding of blood.
Of Greece and the East custom of decorating the myrtle wreaths brides moved to Germany. Now, out of respect for the ancient custom of such wreaths decorated with the grand and the bride, as, for example, in Bremen, where every wedding is accompanied by even a special holiday myrtle. And in France during weddings myrtle in a pot are just as an attribute festivities; in England in the myrtle wreaths and bouquets - in a big hand at the wedding ceremony dignitaries, especially the ladies of the royal house.
We note in passing that, loving humid climate, myrtle so taken root in England, now that it can be considered for the native plant; and after the first plant was brought here in 1586, the two princes of Spain, where they were the representatives of England. These great men were the first who informed the British government about the formation of the great Spanish Armada and the impending danger of England; so that with the introduction in England myrtle connected, it can be said, getting rid of the fatherland nobles of threatening him trouble. On the other hand, in the Middle Ages it was thought that dreaming myrtle leaves - not good.
Respect for the myrtle, and remained in New Greece; According to legend, do not pass by myrtle bush, no tearing even small twigs, if you want to keep up to age youthful vigor and freshness forces. Faith in the invigorating effect of myrtle preserved in Italy, where wreaths of it - it is a sign of youth.