Forty days after Easter is Ascension day. In 1401 AD, the Mongols invaded Assyria (Iraq). Malik Shalita was the governor of Nineveh governorate in Mosul. He successfully repelled the invasion. Having heard what befell their countrymen in Tikrit and Mardin, his wife organized the Assyrian women dressed in white to collect food and supplies from the towns and bring them to the men fighting at front. The women also fought alongside the men. Malik Shalita and his wife were both killed in the battle.
This heroism is celebrated in the Assyrian Churches as Bride of the Ascension, since those heroic men and women ascended into heaven. A pretty young girl is selected to be the bride dressed in a tradition Assyrian wedding costume. She then leads a group of boys and girls around to the neighbors asking for walnuts and raisins or other treats. The treats are then shared at a feast in honor of the "bride".
From Wikipedia: The Assyrian historian Arsanous states that the young boys and girls represent the dead young men and women who ascended to heaven because they died for the cause of Christianity and in defence of their homeland. The tragic nature of the 1401 event had left such an indelible impression on the minds of the survivors that they remembered the final battle and have honoured the memory of the fallen by re-enacting the camaraderie of the Assyrian men and women who died defending their homeland.
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
"Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant" - he grew very attached to it.