About the Holiday

Pine-cone-liday is a holiday of planting trees.

Have a Tree-mendous Holiday!

The pine cone is a symbol of happiness, fertility, an abundance of grace and prosperity. A person who carries the pine cone symbol will be seen by others as attractive.

The Slavs believed that fallen pine cones were gifts from a forest spirit called Szyszkodar, or the Pine Cone Giver. Szyszkodar offered the pine cones as promises of happiness and prosperity for the whole year, but in exchange for his prickly gift, the Pine Cone Giver asked for people to take care of nature. To honor Szyszkodar, Slavs planted trees and celebrated Szyszkielniki, or Pine-cone-liday. It was a big feast for the whole village, with a stew simmering in the kettle on a fire. People gave each other decorated pine cones as gifts with wishes of happiness and prosperity, and planted trees together.

Slavs depicted the Pine Cone Giver as an old man with a beard covered in moss, bird nests, polypores, and flowers. He had an acorn necklace, a bag filled with pine cones, and he rode a hedgehog with a red squirrel resting on his shoulder.

illustration by Anna Helena Szymborska

How to celebrate

The thing is this Holiday hasn’t been fully re-discovered, therefore there are no strict rules dictated by the market or media and we can use our imagination and improvise a little. It’s a living tradition and as such, it will evolve when more and more people start to celebrate it.  

Modern Pine-cone-liday is celebrated twice a year on the 23rd of March, for the Spring Pine-cone-liday and on the 6th of September, for the Autumn Pine-cone-liday.

During the Spring Holiday, one can plant a tree from a seedling or previously stratified seeds, and during the Autumn celebration, acorns, chestnuts, and pine cone seeds can be placed in the freezer to stratify, or can be planted outside in the ground about 2 inches deep, and covered with dry leaves for protection from birds, other animals, and weather.

Little boxes filled with pine needles or hay and a pine cone, along with personal wishes of happiness and prosperity can be prepared to send to family and friends, or simply Holiday postcards. You can email us at szyszkodar@gmail.com to get free Pine-cone-liday postcard designs to print out, or you can design them yourself!

Postcard design by Dagny Dobrowolska

At the traditional family gatherings, dishes of venison were served with red wine and compotes for children, then desserts of wild berry pies. If a stew is being made to celebrate, a cook can throw a small pine cone into the pot. The person who finds it gets luck. However, nowadays one can improvise, if you don’t eat meat, dishes with mushrooms and wild garlic are a great idea.

That’s it. Have a Tree-mendous Holiday and Pine On!


If you want to start celebrating Pine-cone-lidays, but still have some questions you can email us at:

Szyszkodar: szyszkodar@gmail.com