Dogwood is used as a magical tree, which brings hope, health, long life and luck to the home. Long ago, the most durable weapons were made from dogwood.
It is considered a magical tree, symbolizing health due to its hardy, tough wood, which was present in many Bulgarian rituals. The stick, used by the first person to enter the home during the holidays to kindle the fire, is made of dogwood. The sticks used by the carolers that announce the coming of Christmas and the New Year are also made of dogwood.
Tradition requires Dogwood seeds to be present at the dinner table on Christmas Eve, along with the food, for health and good luck. Dogwood is also a must during Bulgarian weddings and christenings.
Ash is thought to be a tree that brings luck. In some Christmas songs, it is labeled as heavenly. It has been said that the tree has the extraordinary ability to banish evil spirits.
In ages past, the leaves of the ash tree were used to treat snake bites.
Young maidens' carrying poles were also made from ash, because it was believed that serpents and samodivas avoided it out of fear. Because of this belief, shepherds also made their crooks from ash.
Some Christians disliked the tree, thinking it a pagan symbol that was inhabited by evil demons. Despite this, they used its leaves to treat their wounds.
The most favored tree in Bulgarian mythology is the maple. In the past, when travelers had to spend the night out along the road, they chose to sleep under a maple tree because they believed that it would protect them from evil forces.
Mountain shepherds' kavals were also crafted from maple wood, since according to tradition, the music played from an instrument made of maple would drive away demons and samodivas.See more