Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The fire bird in mythology

Posted by Fredsvenn on July 18, 2015

Firebird (Slavic folklore)


The Golden Bird



Hazaran Blbul – in Armenian mythology, Phoenix, sacred firebird found in the mythologies of many cultures, Bennu – Egyptian firebird, Huma (mythology) – Persian firebird, (Жар-Птица) – Firebird (Slavic folklore), the Thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’ history and culture, the Greek ‘φοινιξ’, meaning the color purple-red or crimson. They and the Romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle, etc.

When the wild gardens in the valley at the foot of Mount Ararat bloom, thousands of birds sing their wonderful songs in unison. People welcome the arrival of spring and recall the legend of Hazaran Blbul*, without whose help spring would never have come.

That tiny bird with bright plumage always sang the loudest. Her magical art revived withered gardens, so mountains and valleys bloomed with lush vegetation. The bird never raised any hatchlings for there was only one of its kind on earth. Upon reaching old age, when the bird felt that death was imminent, she arranged a nest of rare herbs and strange plants. The herbs were dry and flammable. At the time of its death, the bird and its nest burned to ashes. Then out of the warm ashes formed a small lump that in turn, grew into a nestling that looked very much like Hazaran Blbul.

The first Armenian tribes and legendary heroic kings knew of the ability of Hazaran Blbul to rise from the ashes, soar into the sky, and summon the onset of spring. They believed that there would always be prosperity, happiness, and love anywhere that tiny bird sang.

No one ever dared to offend it or catch it. Because if you startled Hazaran Blbul, she would leave the blooming valley forever and no force would be able to bring it back to the foothills of Mount Ararat. The magic bird continues to serve people today. It provides inspiration for painters and artists, faith for the elderly, love for the young, and hope for all those who have wandered away from their native land.

Armenian Hazaran Blbul – In the Armenian tale, the bird does not glow, but rather makes the land bloom through its song. It belongs to a flying magical (bird)-girl called “Huri Peri”. No one ever dared to offend it or catch it. Because if you startled Hazaran Blbul, she would leave the blooming valley forever and no force would be able to bring it back And I think the original explanation of this phenomenon is in Armenian tale. The phoenix is consistently characterized as a bird with brightly colored plumage, which, after a long life, dies in a fire of its own making only to rise again from the ashes.

There are 2 versions of Egyptian Bennu bird myth. One version of the myth says that the Bennu bird burst forth from the heart of Osiris. In the more prevalent myths, the Bennu created itself from a fire that was burned on a holy tree in one of the sacred precincts of the temple of Ra.

The Huma, also known as the “bird of paradise,” is a Persian mythological bird. It consumes itself in fire every few hundred years, only to rise anew from the ashes. The Huma is considered to be a compassionate bird and its touch is said to bring great fortune.

The Greeks adapted the word bennu and identified it with their own word phoenix ‘φοινιξ’, meaning the color purple-red or crimson. They and the Romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle. According to Greek mythology, the phoenix lived in Arabia next to a well. At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Apollo stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song.

The phoenix (known as Garuda in Sanskrit) is the mystical fire bird which is considered as the chariot of the Hindu god Vishnu. Its reference can be found in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

In China, the phoenix is called Feng-huang and symbolizes completeness, incorporating the basic elements of music, colors, nature, as well as the joining of yin and yang. It is a symbol of peace, and represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity. The Feng-huang, unlike the phoenix which dies and is reborn, is truly immortal although it only appears in times of peace and prosperity.

In Slavic folklore, the Firebird (Russian: Жар-пти́ца, Zhar-ptitsa; Ukrainian: Жар-пти́ця, Zhar-ptica; Serbian: Жар-птица or Žar-ptica; Croatian: Žar ptica; Bulgarian: Жар-птица, Zhar-ptitsa; Macedonian: Жар-птица, Žar-ptica; Polish: Żar-ptak; Czech: Pták Ohnivák; Slovak: Vták Ohnivák) and Hungarian: Tűzmadár is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both a blessing and a bringer of doom to its captor.

In Czech folklore, it is called Pták Ohnivák (Fire-like Bird) and appears, for example, in a Karel Jaromír Erben fairy tale, also as an object of a difficult quest. Moreover, in the beginning of this fairy tale, the bird steals magical golden apples belonging to a king and is therefore pursued by the king’s servants in order to protect the precious apples.

The thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’ history and culture. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. It is especially important, and frequently depicted, in the art, songs and oral histories of many Pacific Northwest Coast cultures, and is found in various forms among the peoples of the American Southwest, Great Lakes, and Great Plains.

The thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. The Lakota name for the thunderbird is Wakį́nyąn, from wakhąn, meaning “sacred”, and kįyą, meaning “winged”. The Kwakwaka’wakw have many names for the thunderbird, and the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) called it Kw-Uhnx-Wa. The Ojibwa word for a thunderbird that is closely associated with thunder is animikii, while large thunderous birds are known as binesi.

The Garuda is a large bird-like creature, or humanoid bird that appears in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The brahminy kite and phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda’s depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite).

In Hinduism, Garuda is a Hindu divinity, usually the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle’s beak and with a crown on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the sun. Garuda is known as the eternal sworn enemy of the Nāga serpent race and known for feeding exclusively on snakes, such behavior may have referred to the actual short-toed eagle of India.

Pamola (also known as Pamolai, P-mol-a, Pomola, and Bmola) is a legendary bird spirit that appears in Abenaki mythology. This spirit causes cold weather. Specifically, according to the Penobscot tribal nation. Pamola is said to be the god of Thunder and protector of the mountain. The Penobscot people describe him as having the head of a moose, the body of a man and the wings and feet of an eagle.

The Rain Bird in Native American legend was a bird who brought rain. A Rain Bird design is used in some Native American pottery. The name was borrowed by the Rain Bird Corporation to name their irrigation sprinkler. The Rain Bird was known by the coastal Native Americans as the bringer of life. The reason behind it was that Rain (The bringer of life) brought life to the coastal Natives by watering their plants and hence, giving food & water to the animals they hunted.

In Judaism, the phoenix is known as Milcham or Chol (or Hol): According to the Midrash Rabbah, upset by her situation and jealous of creatures still innocent, Eve tempted all the other creatures of the garden to do the same. Only the Chol (phoenix) resisted. As a reward, the phoenix was given eternal life. This reference, however, is controversial since chol has been translated as phoenix, sand, and palm tree in different versions.

The ideology of the phoenix fit perfectly with the story of Christ. The phoenix’s resurrection from death as new and pure can be viewed as a metaphor for Christ’s resurrection, central to Christian belief. The phoenix is referenced by the early Christian Apostolic Father Clement in The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. Most of the Christian-based phoenix symbolism appears within works of literature, especially in Medieval and Renaissance Christian literature that combined classical and regional myth and folklore with more mainstream doctrine.

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