A zapis (literally "inscription") is a tree in Serbia that is sacred for the village within whose bounds it is situated. A cross is inscribed into the bark of each zapis. Most of these trees are large oaks. Prayers are offered to God under the crown of the zapis, where also church services may be held, especially on village festivals observed to supplicate God for protection against destructive weather conditions. In settlements without a church, ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms used to be conducted under the tree. Folk tradition maintains that great misfortune will happen to anyone who dares to fell a zapis.