Trees are revered for their strength and fortitude, and thus have been used as symbols in writing and mythology since earliest times. The symbolism of the pear tree, in particular, has influenced cultures and religious faiths across the world.
The pear tree is a focal point of the popular holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which some believe uses secular symbols to represent essential elements of the Christian faith. From the song's popular refrain, the partridge is said to represent Christ, whereas the pear tree symbolises mankind's salvation.
Pears and pear trees commonly appear in Chinese paintings and art motifs. They are favourite objects of artists because the pear symbolises longevity, as pear trees are known to live long lives. Marco Polo reported after his travels that the Chinese planted many trees because they believed "he who plants a tree will live a long life."
Others believe that pear trees symbolise a female baby's birth. In Germany, a pear tree was traditionally planted after the birth of every girl child as people believed the fruitfulness and longevity of the pear tree would give strength to their daughters, as well as to their marriage.
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