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  • #346916

    Anonymous

    Does anyone know of any similar custom from other Slavic countries? We have the same custom in Serbia. And the same ritual was described by saxo gramaticus as being performed on Rujan. Does anyone have a link to english translation of the book 14 of saxo's gesta danorum which talks about slavs?

    Most magic customs were connected with Christmas Eve (Svjatyj vecur, Korocun, Vilija). On that day the husbandman covered the floor with straw. An unthreshed grain sheaf, usually oats (called in some localities "Didko" or "Diduch"), was placed on the honorable seat at the table, i.e., "into the corner" under the icons. According to historical and ethnographic literature, in the archaic Slavic homes one corner was reserved for a representation of the pagan gods. Oats or straw were also used for decorating the festive table on which there had to be seeds from all crops. In the spring these very seeds were used in the first sowing. The oats and straw had a magical function in pagan society: they were expected to secure plenty of fodder and grain. Christianity provided another rationalization for the custom, stressing the birth of Jesus on straw and oats, thus transforming the two into symbols of that event. Also placed in the place of honor was the festive bread (korocun, kracun) decorated with wintergreen or periwinkle (barvinok) and various small figures. Prosperity was symbolized by a "mountain" of bread at the end of the table. At the beginning of the evening meal the husbandman hid behind this "mountain," asking: "Can you see me from behind the bread mountain?" The children replied in a chorus: "We can't," after which the husbandman concluded: "Let us wish you'll not see me either in the spring from within the hay or in the summer from within the wheat!"

    http://www.carpatho-rusyn.org/customs/c%26ny.html

    #434478

    Anonymous

    A very old tradition in my house. Special bread was made for christmas called česnica and that words were used like in Serbia and in Saxo Rujan. It seems that is an old slavic pagan tradition. My family is originated from Dinara area  and there are a lot of orthodox people. Same custom like in my house (catholic), but only difference was that orthodox christians used to put the "golden" coin in česnica, while we didn`t

    #434479

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    A very old tradition in my house. Special bread was made for christmas called česnica and that words were used like in Serbia and in Saxo Rujan. It seems that is an old slavic pagan tradition. My family is originated from Dinara area  and there are a lot of orthodox people. Same custom like in my house (catholic), but only difference was that orthodox christians used to put the "golden" coin in česnica, while we didn`t

    .
    Serbs still make česnica for Christmas (with a coin) and slavas (without a coin). The old tradition says that the person who finds the coin in his loaf of česnica will prosper in the following year  :)

    #434480

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    .
    Serbs still make česnica for Christmas (with a coin) and slavas (without a coin). The old tradition says that the person who finds the coin in his loaf of česnica will prosper in the following year  :)

    Yeah, i forgot to write that thing about the coin, and i glad that that custome is still knowed among Serbs. Is this custome Xilaw knowed in Lika?

    #434481

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Yeah, i forgot to write that thing about the coin, and i glad that that custome is still knowed among Serbs. Is this custome Xilaw knowed in Lika?

    Probably. I haven't really asked but I'd imagine they carried the tradition when they migrated. The tradition most likely lost it's popularity during communism in Yugoslavia because of it's religious background, but I'm sure many people still did it anyway. I'd have to check that before giving a final answer though ;) that side of my family does celebrate both Slava and Christmas with mandatory česnica today

    #434482

    Anonymous

    Aye, we have such a custom in Bulgaria as well. Though I doubt there would be many people nowadays who'd have enough straw to spread around, especially in the cities.
    Also, besides the coin, we also put other "lucks" – a short cornel (dryan) bud was put in for health, while other lucks were simply inscribed on small pieces of wood or paper wrapped in foil (though that's a newer thing). And, of course, once everyone's sitting down on the table, nobody's supposed to get up until the dawn and everyone would fall asleep on the hay after the dinner. That's why people reserved a big log, called budnik, which they would then put in the fire before sitting down, so it would burn all night long.

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