Olive Tree Ancient Greek Tradition, Mythology – Olive Tree Kung Fu 16-17th of January 2016, Arta, Greece
Olive Tree Kung Fu planting ceremony with Shifu Shi Yan Jun
Shifu Yan Jun had the honor to be offered to plant an Olive Tree Kung Fu . Dr. Bill Drougas organized the ceremony in Arta. This tree has been named: Shifu Shi Yan Jun’s Olive Tree. The tree was offered as an ancient Greek tradition and respect for Shifu’s work and knowledge. It is also a symbol for the cooperation between Greece and China, between Shifu Shi YanJun and Dr. Bill Drougas.
The olive tree is one the most important Greek mythical tree. It is respected and represented a symbol in the Mediterranean area in the ancient times.
In Greece the tree is the symbol of peace, prosperity, resurrection and hope. The symbol of recuperation and renovation is demonstrated in Ancient times after the Persians burned the Acropolis City. This city it is the symbol of olive trees of Athens. When Athenians retuned to the burned city they saw the olive tree growing already a branch!
Theseus, the national hero of Attica has the olive tree in the story about his life. His life was full of adventures. One of these adventures appear in his trip to Crete to confront with the Minotaur. Before his trip he asked protection from the God Apollo. On his return, he gave as offering a sacred olive branch from the Acropolis of Athens.
In classic mythological literature the olive tree is also present as traditional religious celebrations.
One of the most famous celebrations in Athens was the Panathenaic Festival. This was celebrated in the honor of the Goddess Athena which was the protector of the city. The celebrations take place in July. As prize, the winners received an amphora with olive oil from the Attican olives fields.
Athena is also the Goddess of fertility. Olive fruit is used for centuries by Hellenes. Families which were looking to have a good production on their soil were looking for the Olive trees.
Olympic Games which took place in Olympia, Peloponnese are also one of the most important Greek religious festivals. Every four years the games were celebrated in the honor of Zeus. The origin of the Games is not well known. However, the Olympic Games part of the Panhellenic Games, become the most important and prestigious Games.
During the games, one of the challenges was the Pentathlon. These consist of five separate challenges: running, long jumps, discus, javelin and boxing. During the games, apart of the physical tests, were also intellectual tests. The intellectual tests were in form of literature and oratory competitions. The prize was in the form of olive tree – crown. The athlete was considered as a true hero and his win was an honor for him home town.
There is a very intense relation between Greek society and the Olive trees. It symbolizes strength, victory, fertility, resistance and it is a sacred symbol which was offered to the Gods. Virgin Olive Oil was considered of great value by being offered as prize to the winners in competitions.
Shifu Shi Yan Jun sees this ceremony with great respect and honor for the ancient Hellenic traditions. He wishes to express his gratitude for this unique event! The olive tree will grow strong as the relation between Shifu Yan Jun and his students in Greece.