(Abies alba) A symbol of fertility, for it was sacred in ancient Greece to Artemis, the moon-goddess who presided over childbirth (Graves). Hildesheim women were struck with a small fir-tree at Shrovetide, and in north Germany, brides and bridegrooms aften carried fir-branches with lighted tapers, while at Weimar, firs were planted before a house when a wedding took place. It was also used at weddings in Russia (Hartland). In Orkney, mother and child were "sained" soon after delivery with a burning fir-candle whirled three times round the bed (Graves).
On Midsummer Night in Germany, fir-branches are decorated with flowers and coloured eggs, and the young people dance round them, singing rhymes (Dyer. 1889). South Germans use this as their Christmas Tree. In fact, Christmas Tree is an accepted name for this species. One piece of weather lore is recorded. The cones will close for wet, and open for fair, weather (Wright). Dreaming of being in a forest of firs is a sign of suffering (Gordon. 1985).
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