Friday, January 8, 2016

When Serbs go branch hunting

(Virginia Native Plant Society) - These young men were proudly carrying their branches along the path this afternoon. When asked about what they were doing, in broken English they replied that they were Orthodox Christians from Serbia and that it was their Christmas Eve. Tradition called for the blessing of a tree still holding leaves to be brought into the house. A Google check confirmed the date; Serbs use the Julian calendar which puts Christmas on Jan. 7. And 'Badnjak,' is the word for the tree they bring in, oak being the preferred species. Native plants and culture cross paths!

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