In the heart of winter, when snow covers the landscape and people huddle in their homes, the effervescence of Valentine’s Day stirs up emotions. And although the Cupid with his bow and arrow is an emblematic figure of this day in many cultures in Japan, a new symbol emerges with an ancient story, the Black Apple.
The Black Apple: Beyond Cupid, The Japanese Tradition of Love Meets on Valentine’s Day
This fruit, darker than most of the apples you would find in a common market, is the protagonist of a modern legend forged in the beautiful Yamagata prefecture.
Known as the Black Apple, it is a fruit with a red color so deep that it borders on the dark, whose supposed mission is to act as the new Cupid on Valentine’s Day.
Cultivated in the orchards of Dewa Sanzen, a town located between the sacred mountains Mount Haguro, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono, the Black Apple, says the sellers of a magic store in Japan, holds a special power.
It is believed that this sacred place, famous for its pristine waters and serenity gives the fruit a spiritual character that turns it into a talisman of love.
The sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzen are part of the Three Dewa Mountains, an important center for the Shuendo faith, an ancient Japanese religion that mixes Buddhism, Shinto and other animist beliefs.
In this environment surrounded by ancient traditions, it is easy to understand how a simple fruit can be transformed into an object of hope and desire.
The Legend of the Black Apple: An Enchantment of Eternal Love Inspired by Snow White
The legend of the Black Apple is vaguely reminiscent of the story of Snow White, popularized by the Brothers Grimm.
In the fable, a poisoned apple sends the protagonist into a deep sleep from which only a kiss of true love can wake her up. In this case, the apple does not bring with it an eternal dream, but rather a promise of eternal love.
The charm of Apple does not end with its spiritual origin. Sellers of the magic shop include a spell in the apple package which is supposed to increase its effectiveness. The ritual is simple:
- First, one must wash the apple and then recite the spell.
- The fruit can then be eaten raw by the person looking for love, or it can be prepared and served to a potential romantic partner.
Apple can be used in a variety of ways, from eating it raw to turning it into a sweet and delicious cake. The only rule is that it can only be consumed by the person you want to attract. This versatility in its consumption gives a more attractive touch to the apple and shows the union between Japanese cuisine and traditional customs.
In addition to being a charming local tradition, the Black Apple represents the unique fusion of the elements of modernity and tradition that often characterizes Japanese culture.
Although the idea of a magical fruit that brings love may sound strange to some, it’s important to remember that the beliefs and traditions surrounding love and relationships are as diverse as the cultures that house them.
The Black Apple: The Japanese Tradition that Transforms Valentine’s Day
On February 14th, the day when the Black Apple goes on sale, the hopes and dreams of single people, as well as those seeking to consolidate their love come together in this unique fruit.
This day, more than any other, the store is transformed into a magical space, a place of faith and perhaps a little despair where the longing to find true love materializes in the shape of an apple.
In the end, what really matters is the faith that people place in the Black Apple. As with all traditions and rituals, its power lies in the belief in its potential in the hope that it can bring a desired change.
In this version of love, unlike the Snow White story, there are no envious stepmothers or poisoned fruits. There is only one apple, one sincere desire and the hope for deep love.
And maybe, that’s all we really need on Valentine’s Day: a little show of faith, a little bit of magic and the promise of a love that can be as sweet as an apple.
The Black Apple is more than just a fruit, it’s a symbol, it’s a tradition. Every bite is a reminder of the power of love and the capacity of hope to transform our lives. In the Black Apple, we find the essence of Valentine’s Day: a celebration of love in all its forms in all its sweetness and bitterness, in all its apples and arrows.
Finally, while Cupid prepares his arrows for Valentine’s Day, in Yamagata prefecture, singles and lovers have another alternative to attract love: the Black Apple, a Japanese tradition rooted in faith, hope and the magic of love.
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