In the ancient world, juniper was connected with the dead and in the underworld, perhaps because its fragrance was used to cover the scent of death. The ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming process, while in ancient Greece it was used to invoke Hecate and other chthonic deities. In Christian lore, it was believed that fumigations of juniper had the power to eradicate evil, a reward to the tree for having once sheltered the infant Jesus. In mediaeval Europe, the home of a dead person was smoked with juniper. In Scotland, it was used as a sain at Hogmanay (New Year), while in Czechoslovakia stables were fumigated to expel demons.