Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Palms and their uses - I'm sure some will surprise you .. part 1/2

Dear Mr Postman .. how welcome you are at the moment and another informative letter is a great pleasure to receive ..

A multitude of palms were strewn marking Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem thus establishing the name as Palm Sunday. However in England in medieval times the 'palms' were made from willow, box or yew branches ... as palms would not grow so far north. Palms today are saved in many churches to be burned the following year as the source of the ashes used in Ash Wednesday services, the first day of Lent.

Palms have been around on earth for aeons .. they have been found in the fossil record around 80 million years ago, while the first of the modern species we have today appeared 69 - 70 million years ago, confirmed by fossil pollen. The Wikipedia entry on palms states that they "appear to have undergone an early period of adaptive radiation".

Humans could not have expanded their exploration without the use of the date palm - which had become established before human civilisation itself. Date wood, pits for storing dates and other remains have been found in Mesopotamian sites (modern day Iraq) - confirming that the palm offered so much more to humans in those far off ancient times: concentrated energy food as they journeyed the deserts, an amenable habitat by providing shade and protection from the desert winds. In addition almost all parts of the date palm had a useful purpose ..

The importance of Palms in ancient times is that they are mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible and at least 22 times in the Quran .. reflecting their symbolism. Palms, in many historical cultures were symbols of victory, peace and fertility. The Romans rewarded champions of the gladiatorial combat as well as celebrating military successes with palm branches.

Palms are one of the most well-known and extensively cultivated plant families offering so much to so many through the centuries ...

Thank you Mr Postman .. oh good, tomorrow's letter will give us some more insights into palm uses ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters


Shaw said...

Dear Hilary,

Good post, good imformation. It always interest me to learn these human history of using natural blessing and nature's power to help people develop its culture.

Thank you for your sharing.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. many thanks for visiting my blog .. & I always appreciate your comments. I too think it is good that we remember how we have developed and learnt to use all the resources available to us over time. They are as you say nature's blessings ..

Many thanks -
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters