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Scary Pagan Masks in Slavic folklore

Scary Pagan Masks in Slavic folklore – Masks are used also in Slavic folklore, mostly during Fašiangy or Turíce feast days; then also during the Winter solstice (Kračún, Koleda) – now under the term Christmas; and a mask can be also found during the Burning of Morena feast (these feasts are of an old Slavic pagan origin) and so on. Their original meaning is to protect people and their property against the evil, because the evil is the most active during the winter. They also bring prosperity and fertility to the fields and people. The third meaning is comedic (parody on policemen, priests, jews, Turks, soldiers, butchers, clowns, beggars, prostitutes, gypsies, weepers, retarded persons etc). The masks are made of magical material – a straw, fur, baby doll, bells, twig, roasting-jack…; they do magical acts – jumping, stealing, fake death and revival, rolling on the ground, scavengery of house, erotic gestures, touching people, dance, giving a gift…   The more scary mask is, the greater magical impact on people it has. The Church tried to forbid the masks, but it failed.


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