Since, according to the common practice in Ukraine, tomorrow's the last day of Winter and we cannot wait for the warm, colorful, flowery spring days, we thought we'd talk about a true symbol of Ukraine, feminine beauty and an essential attribute to the traditional Ukrainian costume - vinok (aka wreath)
According to numerous rules twelve flowers and herbs should be woven into the wreath - mallow, viburnum, immortelle, yarrow, forget-me-nots, marigolds, periwinkle, lovage, cornflower, daisy, poppy and hops, each symbolizing something.
Each color of the ribbons decorating wreath, also had its own meaning. For example, green was the symbol of beauty and youth, purple stood for wisdom, crimson symbolized sincerity and cordiality and pink - the girl's rich dowry.
In addition, there were various kinds of wreaths, each having its special meaning. For example, if a guy liked a girl, but didn't rush to confess his love to her, she would make him a "Wreath of Hope" and, during the closest holiday, place the wreath on the head of her significant other . This wreath, made of cornflowers and field poppies, was supposed to help overcome indecision.
The "Maiden Crown" was made with daisies and cornflowers, and "the Wreath of Love" consisted mainly of daisies, interwined with hop, symbolizing not only the girl's beauty, but also her smarts. A blooming bunch of viburnum in the centre was an integral part of such wreaths.
Married women and engaged girls were supposed to make wreaths of cornflowers and lovage, called "Commitment Wreaths" for themselves and their husband-to-be.
A woman wearing a Wreath of roses with green leaves marked the birth of a firstborn.
There were also "Wreaths of Separation" that were given to boys and men who were going to war or to work. The basis for these wreaths were primrose - the symbol of impermanence and heather - loneliness.
Historians claim there are more than 70 kinds of secular, ritual and magical wreaths.
In addition to all the above - vinoks are simply beautiful and everyone should own one!
Photos - Makoviya; The Sincere Ones (Щирі) project; Pinteres