Photo of dove, hand carved white bird of tagua nut
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Symbol of purity, gentle disposition, and also of tenderness and love. In some traditions the dove appears as a heavenly messenger and a symbol of the soul of the deceased. Thus, according to the belief of the Slavs, the soul of the deceased is transformed into a dove. In addition, it was a sacrificial animal.
The ancient Jews pigeon acted as the messenger of the heaven and the symbol of redemption. His appearance with an olive branch in its beak over the Noah's Ark testified that the waters had subsided from the earth's surface, it was a sign of the onset of peace and renewal of life.
In China a dove is a symbol of longevity and filial piety. In the East, the dove was a symbol of love and marriage, in particular, originally doves symbolized carnal love (perhaps this idea is connected with the way of "kissing" the pigeons and their fecundity), then - home (like a bird, easily amenable to domestication). As a symbol of marriage, a dove is depicted with a ring in its beak.
Dove was revered in Egypt, where it was used as a mail bird, then dove entered Greece, where it performs the same function. White pigeon, announcing the Greek policies on the winner of the Olympic Games, became the prototype of a dove of peace with an olive branch in its beak, as well as during the Games in Greece was declared the world. (Dove of Picasso, painted for the World Congress of the world - white terry homer, so the artist has raised the ancient symbols.) In Greek mythology, the dove was sent Argonauts Symplegades between the floating rocks, and its happy flight was interpreted as a good omen. Furthermore, the Greeks considered a dove bird goddess of love Aphrodite.
In Christianity the dove became a symbol of the Holy Spirit is believed that the Holy Spirit descended on Christ at the baptism in the shape of a dove. It should be noted, however, that in the original rather refers to a dove (the word "ruach" - "spirit" - in the Jewish language of the feminine). Dove and halo - as represented by the Holy Spirit, the dove and the lily symbolized in the iconography of the Annunciation.