Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

AROUND SLOVAKIA

Ancient ritual ends winter in Prešov

A SLAVIC goddess variously named Maržanna, Mara, Maržena, Morana, Moréna, Mora, Marmora or Morena is associated with winter, death and nightmares. Some scholars equate her with the Latvian goddess named Māra who is said to take a person’s body after death. Some medieval Christian sources, such as the Mater Verborum, compare the Slavic goddess to the Greek goddess Hecate, associating her with sorcery. The ancient tradition of symbolically drowning Morena to bid farewell to winter and welcome in a new spring has survived in some parts of Slovakia.

Moreny, Prešov(Source: SITA)

A SLAVIC goddess variously named Maržanna, Mara, Maržena, Morana, Moréna, Mora, Marmora or Morena is associated with winter, death and nightmares. Some scholars equate her with the Latvian goddess named Māra who is said to take a person’s body after death. Some medieval Christian sources, such as the Mater Verborum, compare the Slavic goddess to the Greek goddess Hecate, associating her with sorcery. The ancient tradition of symbolically drowning Morena to bid farewell to winter and welcome in a new spring has survived in some parts of Slovakia.

The hiking club in Prešov in eastern Slovakia has been organising this ritual for 56 years to say goodbye to winter and symbolically welcome the new hiking season.

“We will part with winter and several Morenas made by Prešov pupils and members of hobby clubs will be floated down the Torysa River after water sportsmen symbolically unlock the waters of the river,” Juraj Fiľakovský from the Šariš regional council of the Club of Slovak Hikers told the TASR newswire, adding that Morena is known from folklore as a female form. By burning her, putting her into water and sending her away, winter can be symbolically ended, he said.

The event also included a competition for creativeness in depicting Morena and those making the fanciest figurines were rewarded. The figurines are usually made of straw on a wooden skeleton and clad in female dress. Fiľakovský added that about 20 figurines were made for this year’s event, adding that participants meet in the morning to “unlock the river”, then moved to the bridge near the city auditorium by kayak or on foot and then burned the figurines and sent them floating down the river.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Northern Slovakia faces risk of floods from intense rain

Meteorologists are issuing a second-degree flood warning due to the continuous rain.

Illustrativre stock photo

Kio li estas? Liptov welcomed Esperanto enthusiasts Photo

Biggest Esperanto summer school takes place in Liptovský Mikuláš.

Slovakia has extradited Yandiev to Russia

Despite the UN decision, the country sent Ingushetia citizen Aslan Yandiev to Russia where he is wanted for alleged terrorism crimes. It cites the stance of the ECHR.

Illustrative stock photo

More reasons to stay

Excluding people doesn’t just affect those who choose to leave.