Today is Easter, the resurrection of Christ. Also: Ostara, a pagan festival of awakening nature and fertility. I find it very cheerful. Especially as there is a lot of chocolate going around in the shape of chocolate eggs. Eggs are also painted and decorated as the Iranians do for Nowrooz.
It’s another festival where some people put trees up: in the case of Easter usually twisted branches in a vase, that will start sprouting leaves in a few days, and the branches are decorated with eggs and hares and birds.
This symbolises the Tree of Life. A universal symbol. The middle eastern image of The Tree of Life, as a simplified tree with two figures, or animals at either side is well-known.
What I hope interests you, my friends is; that this image is very popular in the north of the Netherlands!
Dutch doors have a window above the door, to let in the light. These doorlights are very often decorated with a stylised Tree of Life. The idea is, that every time you come in through the door, you get blessed. Many of these have been removed, and they are still disappearing, which I think is a pity, so I photographed a few for you. These are all from the city of Groningen. Most are made from cast iron.
This is a very elaborate one from the 17th century
The 18th century had more stylised ones.
The early nineteenth century’s ones are similar. This one is merged with a ”horn of plenty” grapes and flowers are dripping down.
Later on the Tree of Life, became more simplified,
And this is the most common form to be seen.
And, of course, I have one myself. It is very close to the middle eastern examples like this shell-carving.
Only mine is in the kitchen, because I live in a thirties house, with no door-light. There are no trees after 1900. Don’t know why.