The grove of dancing birches

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The nature of Kazakhstan is striking not only with its diversity and primordial abundance, but also with its unique phenomenons, which arerarely occurring on the planet. One example of such a sight is the “grove of dancing birches” in the national park Borovoye, on the north side of the lake Auliekol.

Apart from Kazakhstan, similar groves are known in Denmark ("Forest trolls") and Russia (National Park "Curonian Spit" in the Kaliningrad region). Photos of these places are spread all over the touristicwebsites, and Kazakhstan’s grove of dancing birches, althoughnot so popular, is worthyofnotice. Perennial white-trunked birches are whimsically curved, as if beautiful flexible girls werefrozen in a dance. The birches are pulled along the ground, then suddenly sometrunksare raisedvertically, othersare folded into half rings almost like snakes, and even into spirals.

Various legends exist in the world to explain this unusual phenomenon of the nature. For example, in Prussia people still believe that the tree trunks twisted into ringsare gateways to the world of ghosts. And whoever goes through the ring, will get rid of the diseases, get an additional year of life, and perhaps acquire supernatural powers.

Polish legend tells a story about a young witch, hated by the people for her power over the supernatural force. Although the witch shouldrather be called a fairy because she did not commit any evil and lived in a harmony with the nature. When the local farmers went to lynchherover, the forest suddenly began to move. Tree trunks started twitching, protectingthe woman living in the depths of the forest and not letting her enemies inside. Terrified, they ran out of the forest, but the trees froze bent - as a warning sign to those who might disturb theforest fairy. In Ireland, many legends are bound upwith trees. There, curved trees are considered to be marked with a special sign by "little people" – magical creatures, elves and fairies.

The locals of Borovoealso have a romantic story of the origin of this grove. A legend says that, once upon a time on the lakeside, the youth of the nearby settlements organized a crowded festival, with puzzles and competitions for the mind and dexterity, songs and dances. The Khan (the ruler) wanted to be a participant of the folk entertainment, but he understoodthat if he appears, the boys and girls would not be able to behave spontaneously and naturally. They wouldbe confused and embarrassed, and the holiday wouldfail. Sothe Khan dressed as a commoner, took only one guard and managed to get to the festival incognito.

Young people were having fun; they played and sang, competed in craftsmanship and made each other happy. Finally,thetime to dance came and young girls started dancing on the lawn. The Khan was so fascinated and enchanted by the spectacle that he could not help himselfand came out tothe dancers admiring their grace aloud and wishinga long life to their beauty. The girls recognized the ruler and got so scared that they froze on the spotas white birches, bent in a dance. Their beauty has preserved for many centuries, and they continue delighting the eyes of the tourists and locals, who pass to each other the legend of its appearance,from mouth to mouth.

However, the unique phenomenon of the nature has a coupleof real explanationsamong many fabulous. The first one is a strong wind during snowy winters, under which, still young, thin birches crept along the ground and bent under the weight of snow. And when the spring came again, they began to reach for the sun. The version that the snow and wind were the creators of this natural miracle is also confirmed by the appearance ofother objects in Borovoe–some stones and cliffs aremoulded in the forms of animals and humans. Such natural art objects are the result of many yearsof work of elements.

The second theory is not confirmed bythe official scientific evidence, but it is very popular among the experienced travelers. The theory says that soilshifted during the growth of trees. Based on this, they assert that the trees bent like that on the places of the tectonic crustal faults.

But, whatever was the real cause of the appearance of the unique grove in Borovoe, the dancing birches are the most fascinating attractions of this resort. The birch groove isa bright placatory place, and the touching beauty of the whimsically curved trunks of the "dancing" treesdispose to the serene and joyful way. A visit of the grove is a good omen;if you press your cheek to the warm crust of the beautiful birch, you will receive a blessing for the success in a business.

In fact, after you get into a contact with many-sided, generous on the mysteries and wonders nature, you understand why peopleinhabited strange places byspirits and genii since the dawn of time. The beauty of the living cradle of humanity is immense and full of its own magic - the magic of life, growth and blossom. The grove of the dancingbirchesin Borovoe is a unique place where you can get in touch with the embodied legend of the nature.

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