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    The Tradition of Birch Branches in Corpus Christi Processions

    Discover the fascinating blend of religious and pagan traditions involving birch branches during Corpus Christi processions.

    The custom of breaking birch branches to adorn altars during Corpus Christi processions intertwines religious and pagan elements. It was believed that green birch branches had protective properties, shielding against witches and their spells. These branches were placed behind holy pictures or door frames to guard homes from lightning strikes and other harms.

    Vegetative Magic in Rural Areas

    In villages, birch branches played a role in vegetative magic. They were placed at the corners of fields and in stables to enhance crop yields and prevent unexpected losses. Birch was considered a safeguard for the prosperity of the household and its inhabitants.

    Herbal Wreaths and Protective Practices

    During Corpus Christi or its octave, people wove wreaths from herbs, storing them in barns to protect animals from disease. Dried herbs from these wreaths were used to make medicinal infusions. Herbs blessed in church were burned on charcoal to fumigate homes and heal the sick, countering spells and charms believed to cause illness and misfortune.

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