Cuckoo evokes different emotions and assosiations; photo by C. Korkosz
Cuckoo is present in the beliefs of many nations since centuries. It evokes different emotions and associations and its symbolism is not explicit. It is a brood parasite – it leaves its eggs in the nests of other birds and therefore it is associated with unfaithfulness and egoism. In some European countries cuckoo is usually seen as a positive symbol though. It is believed that it brings luck and prosperity to those holding a coin at the moment it makes its characteristic sound. Some people once believed that cuckoo had fortune-telling abilities and could tell how much time was left to one’s marriage, child’s birth or other important life event. The only thing to do was to ask the question in one’s mind and wait for the number of cuckoo’s sounds. The presence of this bird also meant a good harvest.
The return of cuckoo is equivalent to the beginning of spring in many European countries. In Great Britain, Cuckoo’s Day celebrates the bird’s comeback and the change of season. In Japan, however, cuckoo symbolizes bad news and death. Regardless of the kind of emotions it evokes, cuckoo deserves our care and protection.