In Slovene lands every village had (and most still have) their own vaška lipa, village linden tree, in front of a church and/or in center of a village. These linden trees are all ancient or very old. People would gather around linden tree for many festivals and village gatherings. Even today planting linden tree’s is popular program in our schools, altho at least when i was in school, i don’t know how it is today.
Festivals were called with various names like rej pod lipo, raj pod lipo, etc. on which folk danced and celebrated on the day of local patron saint and other religious or non-religious festivities. There were also often local village sejmi, or fair’s in english, next to or near linden tree’s. These village linden trees were also used by srenja’s, soseske and such which means communities or parishe’s.
Under lush branches of village linden trees the srenja’s veča or better put vaški zbor, since term veča is to broad, which is a gathering of village elders or representatives who would resolve various disputes in a primitive judical manner. Primitive not in a negative sense but in a sense that it was rather undefined system passed down oraly and depened on customs of a certain area.
Veča also defined which part of communal land called gmajna will be for each villager and/or how this communal land will be managed, like for example how and when certain communal land will be cultivated. They also decided when certain events will happen, organise communal aid if someone’s house was burned or for other accidents. In times of need they also organised communal defense, especially with the rise of Turkish raids this was very important. These are just some of the thing they did beneath the trees.
Stones under this village linden tree represent each village elder’s or representative’s seat and his power to vote for srenja during veča. This used to be typical throughout Slovene lands. It is from village Vrba, ironically vrba means oak while tree is linden. Vrba was home village of Slovene poet Prešeren hence it is very famous place.
In any case as some elder villagers tell older stones used to be more nicelly carved so these ones are believed to be newer. The thing is Nazis considered this communal system Germanic so according to some elders they took originals. This might just be a modern folklore but i wouldn’t exclude it. Regardless of this i made this thread preciselly becouse this suposes Germanic origin is quite appealing becouse so far i haven’t seen any equalent’s among other Slavs. Instead Germans seem to have similar ways;
Besides the sitting stones under trees Germans or at least some Germans especially those from Baden-Württemberg appear to have Tanzlinden or linden trees meant for dance festivals. Dancing under linden trees is therefore akin to our raj pod lipo. Only difference is their linden trees seem to be careful cultivate especially for dancing ritual. The end resoult can be fascinating. Examples of tanzlinde from Germany;
Now what do you think, is this Slovene tradition of Germanic or Slavic origin?