Category: Slovak superstitions

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Slovak superstitions

26.03.2021 Slovak superstitions

The Carpathian Connection is honored that the talented author, Mr. Daniel William Evanishen, has offered the following for our readers. A free-lance writer sincehe is also a publisher since Evanishen was a resident of Mohyla Ukrainian Institute, Saskatoon, and has worked diligently to bring Ukrainian folk tales and other tales from the Carpathian Mountain regions to life. His focus is to preserve and share the wealth and diversity of the Ukrainian experience.

To date, Mr. Evanishen and his publishing company, Ethnic Enterprises, have published four volumes of folk tales, two volumes of short stories and various other literary works. On a high hill which dominates the town of Stara Lubovna in Slovakia rests a castle. It also ensured there would be no disruption to trade routes which led into present day Poland. This was an important location and at one point in history, the castle was a repository for the Polish Crown Jewels.

However, there is another story which is also part of this history. There is a ghost which resides at Stara Lubovna Castle.

Casimir Gasparek was a local merchant. During the 17th century he produced and sold wine as far as Warsaw. Gasparek became very wealthy but this was not all due to his business.

In secret, he and his brother were manufacturing fraudulent gold coins. For a time they did very well, however, the authorities became aware of this scheme and finally, they were both arrested.

The court in Stara Lubovna found him guilty and a sentence of death was carried out. He was be-headed in the center of the town square. A short time after his death, strange tales were told by local residents. It was said a headless man was riding through the fields on his favorite horse with his severed head cradled in his arm. As the story spread, more residents stated they saw Gasparek.

This tale was told in hushed tones but the story never changed, he was seen riding towards the castle to visit his grieving wife. As this was upsetting the residents of Stara Lubovna, local authorities visited Mrs.Slovak folklore regularly taps into its abundant traditions to represent its culture. Main motifs are daily toil, nature, and holiday markings.

From music and dance ensembles, to handicrafts, open-air markets and festivals, folk traditions continue to receive a warm reception in the country. Arts and crafts can count on government support, as well as promotion of its representative products and workmanship abroad. Slovak crafts and practices include lace embroidery, beekeeping, sheep rearing, pottery, and woodcarving.

Folk music has strong regional roots, which makes for distinct sounds among groups. Lucnica and Sluk are two professional ensembles that regularly feature in prominent folk festivals in Slovakia and abroad.

Wood carving, metal working, glass making, embroidery, basket weaving are all part of the repertoire of fairs. These are distinguishable by regional emblems and stylistic patterns. In the Modra region, ceramics making harks back to the s; it often employs historical designs and specific firing techniques. Overall, regardless of how interested one is in folk practices, its effect on influence is wide ranging.

Slovak art, for instance, has drawn heavily from folk themes, along with larger European art trends. Graphic arts depicting pastoral and traditional motifs also enjoy a considerable reputation, as well as organizational support; galleries and museums regularly exhibit its finer representations.

The website uses cookies to improve user experience. Slovak Folklore.Slovakia is proud of its rich folklore and folk traditions. Each region, city, and municipality has a unique character and folklore — costumes, music, songs, architecture, customs, traditions, dances and dialects.

Folklore festivals organised all around Slovakia serve to present the folk customs of individual regions. Other festivals are more regional in nature, but their quality is usually comparable to that of these three festivals. Generally speaking, there are significant differences among festivals, and each has its own distinctive atmosphere and charm. During the best festivals the whole village, city, or even the whole region follows the festival, and you can feel folklore at every turn.

Folk customs and traditions long affected the life of our predecessors. The birth of these customs is usually rooted in fear of the unknown, an inability to explain natural events, as well as an attempt to achieve happiness, health or beauty. These uncertainties were the origin of many superstitions, myths and legends.

Most customs were related to birth and death. As our predecessors were living in close connection with nature, the customs and traditions of the Slovak nation are particularly related to the natural cycle, especially the customs from the pre-Christian period.

With the arrival of Christianity, new customs and traditions took hold around Christian holidays. Customs and traditions always had a regional character; they were linked to a specific region of Slovakia. You could say that for each village, there was a set of customs. Many of the customs have survived to the present day. Young girls carried Morena to a local stream, undressed it on the bank, set it on fire and threw it in a stream.

On January 6th, boys go from door to door dressed up as the three Wise Men, singing carols and performing the Twelfth Night play, describing the visit of the three Wide Men after the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, following a star. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas school holidays and the beginning of a new season called Shrovetide.

Shrovetide was always a season of entertainment and feast, and it culminated with a carnival representing different animals. Shrovetide ended with a "burial of a contrabass", a parody of an actual burial.

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After Shrovetide, Christians observe Lent, a forty-day period of fasting simple foods, no entertainment, etc. The most important Christian holiday of the year is Easter. The Easter holiday is celebrated differently in individual regions. In the past, Easter often coincided with pagan celebrations of the end of winter and the arrival of spring, so the present folk traditions are a mix of Christian customs and customs from the pre-Christian period.

The date of Easter varies; it is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Special customs are linked to each day of Easter week. For example, on Holy Thursday it was recommended to awake early and bathe in the dew.

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It was said to be the best way to keep good health during the whole year. On Good Friday, people were discouraged from working in the garden or do anything with earth and during Lent, Christians were forbidden from eating meat or meat products. On Easter Saturday, no masses are celebrated until midnight, and on Easter Sunday food is consecrated in churches and can be consumed again after the long period of fasting.

Young girls decorate Easter eggs for young boys on Monday. In return, they receive painted Easter eggs and coloured ribbons on their rods from the young girls. It is traditional to whip small children boys and girls as well; the children then receive sweets, especially chocolate eggs and bunnies.

But they must recite an Easter rhyme, such as:. May was traditionally called the month of love. In this period, a maypole tree was the most important of all plants.This tradition came about because eating carp at Christmas is supposed to bring good luck, but since they are bottom feeders, they taste better if kept in clean water in a tub for several days before eating.

Keeping the fish in the bathtub also ensures that it stays fresh right up until Christmas Day. After being held captive in the bathtub for the at least two days, the fish are then gathered and prepared to cook.

The carp is often served fried with a side of potato salad for a traditional Slovak Christmas meal. May 1 is a national holiday in Slovakiaand there is no school or work. Instead, the men go out into the forests to find tall trees to use as May poles.

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The Slovak traditional May pole is a tall tree which has been stripped of all of its branches except the very top two to three feet which are left intact to look like a small Christmas tree.

To these branches, Slovaks tie colorful ribbons which symbolize love, new life, and good growth. The May poles stay up in neighborhoods and in front of community centers until June 1, when they are taken down with another day of celebrations, bringing friends, family, and neighbors together. This next holiday tradition dates back to the ninth century, when it was believed that dowsing women with cold water would make them healthy for the upcoming spring season and ensure their fertility in the year ahead.

Men also hit the women with wicker sticks to ensure vitality. Girls are expected to give the boys a boiled egg or a candy bar as a thanks for being soaked with cold water. This is whats happening in Slovakia today! Iam well missing out!! In many countries, wedding planners are available to organize and smoothly orchestrate weddings — but often from behind the scenes.

slovak superstitions

Slovakia has a fun tradition of wedding moderators who act as the official programmers during the wedding, providing both instructions and entertainment to the guests. The moderators are often dressed in traditional folk costumes and are involved with greeting the guests, orchestrating the ceremony, and letting the couple know when it is time to cut the cake and throw the flower bouquet.

The moderator orchestrates the breaking of a plate, which the couple must then sweep up using a broom while guests kick the pieces around the room.

Completing this task shows that the couple is ready to work as a team.

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No matter the season, spending time in the mountains is an extremely popular activity in Slovakia, as it is a country blessed with many mountains. Slovaks are always prepared with a backpack containing any possibly necessary supplies and almost always a flask of herbal liquor. Slovaks claim the herbs have health benefits such as boosting the immune system and aiding digestion, so taking a few swigs at the top of the mountain will make your time outdoors even more beneficial to your wellbeing.

Whether in a restaurant or at home, starting your meal with a soup is a must while in Slovakia. Some soups are broth based with veggies, while others are cream based. Some soups just pique your appetite, while others feel like entire meals!

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Try them all when you visit, as few countries have as many delicious soups as Slovakia. Available at all pharmacies, convenience stores, and most supermarkets, herbal teas are an incredibly popular way to heal whatever ails you.

My slovak medicaments Africa's memories. It is typically played standing up and is especially popular during folk festivals and celebrations in Detva and Vychodna.

slovak superstitions

Select currency. So much so that Slovakia often chooses traditional folk decorations to adorn the uniforms of their athletes in international competitions. Due to the many possibilities for outdoor recreation in Slovakia, many people are also very active and athletic, spending weekends hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, or skiing.The population is over 5. The official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries.

In the 7th century they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitrawhich was later conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moraviathe territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungarywhich would become the Kingdom of Hungary in After a coup in Czechoslovakia became a totalitarian one-party socialist state under a communist administrationduring which the country was part of the Soviet led Eastern Bloc.

Funny Slovak Superstitions about Love and Marriage

Attempts to liberalize communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Springwhich was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August Inthe Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakiasometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy [14] [15] with a very high Human Development Index[16] [17] a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil libertiespress freedominternet freedomdemocratic governance and peacefulness.

The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health carefree education and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD. As part of EurozoneSlovak legal tender is the eurothe world's 2nd-most-traded currency. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. These findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and Central Europe.

Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population. Excavations of Lusatian hill forts document the substantial development of trade and agriculture at that period. The richness and the diversity of tombs increased considerably. The inhabitants of the area manufactured arms, shields, jewellery, dishes, and statues. During Hallstatt times, monumental burial mounds were erected in western Slovakia, with princely equipment consisting of richly decorated vessels, ornaments and decorations.

The burial rites consisted entirely of cremation. Common people were buried in flat urnfield cemeteries. A special role was given to weaving and the production of textiles. The local power of the "Princes" of the Hallstatt period disappeared in Slovakia during the century before the middle of first millennium BC, after strife between the Scytho -Thracian people and locals, resulting in abandonment of the old hill-forts.

Relatively depopulated areas soon caught the interest of emerging Celtic tribes, who advanced from the south towards the north, following the Slovak rivers, peacefully integrating into the remnants of the local population. Biatecssilver coins with inscriptions in the Latin alphabet, represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. This culture is often connected with the Celtic tribe mentioned in Roman sources as Cotini.

Such Roman border settlements were built on the present area of Rusovcecurrently a suburb of Bratislava. The military fort was surrounded by a civilian vicus and several farms of the villa rustica type.So the first difference is that our Christmas Vianoce is very much driven by Christian and mainly by Catholic tradition.

This has a reason, we get the presents already on this day :o. Usually on this day you would put up the tree unlike in USA, where you have a tree already for weeks I guess. This comes from the times when your tree would be a simple spruce brought from the forest — then you want that as fresh and green as possible for Christmas days, so you cannot put it up very early.

So you decorate the tree, and prepare meals. Catholics are supposed to be fasting all day, or at the very least, not to eat meat. Actually the story is that if you fast all day then you will see the golden piglet in the evening :o. This works on children that would be eating everything directly from under your hands and then would not be able to eat a festive dinner :o. Catholics need to be fasting till midnight, Evangelists till dark. According to this you have a small meal during the day.

It depends very much on the region, but usually it is soup: it can be sour cabbage soup with dried mushrooms and prunes, it can be lentil soup, it can be sour white soup from dried mushrooms…. But the main meal is a dinner. Bear in mind that Slovakia until the 20 th century was quite a poor country, so the meals are very much influenced by this. Fish that everybody can catch his own, mushrooms, that you can pick up and dry for yourself, vegetables and potatoes, apples, nuts… those are the main ingredients…only in the south and bigger towns do they have also smoked ham or mayonnaise.

For dinner the whole family should get together, no one is supposed to be on his own. It is traditional to lay down one more place at the table, so if a beggar would come you can host him.

The father of the family cut an apple crosswise, if you get a star, the next year will be happy, it you get a cross someone will die this is actually a very stupid and scary tradition. A happier tradition is this: everybody gets a wafer — very thin, like holy wafer, but as big as a dessert plate.

8 Traditions Only Slovaks Will Understand

You put on some honey, slices of garlic and bits of walnuts, and stick on another wafer. Also you eat the apple with that. Christmas in Slovakia has a mystery and magic and certain secret to it… it never was that flashy…but even here the times are changing. The next course is soup — again it can be soured cabbage soup like for the lunch, but more rich — if you are Evangelist you can already have in there some sausages the red ones, like chorizo or sour cream, smoked ham…In the northern regions they have lentil soup.

We eat bread with soup. Bread is important an part because it symbolizes plenitude for next year. Carp shaped like a horseshoe, and sauerkraut soup. Then the main course is fish. It is a fresh water local carp fish.

It is sold a week before Christmas in Slovakia in the streets from big tanks and pools alive…and many people keep it alive at home in the bath till Christmas Eve to have it really fresh and to get rid of the possible muddy taste….

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We also used to have a carp or two in our bath at least for two days. We would spend hours in that bathroom with my brother! We would name the fish and talk to it, and give it toys into the water. My mum would need to change our clothes regularly as we would have wet sleeves all the time! But it has also an educational moment — as then the moment comes that the head of the family takes the meat stick and kills the fish … and children from a small age are exposed to this process…how you get your food on the plate….

I personally think that particularly in the towns this is one of the rare moments where you actually are present in the process of getting food from an animal.

Anyway, so you kill the fish, clean it, and cut it into horse-shoe shapes for good luck everything has a mystery in Slovakia. We coat it in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and fry it.

You also save a few scales and put them into your wallet so you would have loads of money next year they look like small silver monies, so that is where this mystery comes from. With the fish we eat potato salad — in towns it is mayonnaise salad with carrots, peas, gherkins, and more, but to the pure north they have just a simple vinegar potato salad with onions.

If all this happens after midnight or you are Evangelist you can have also smoked ham or pork escalopes…actually, our family was never so fussy. We get presents right after dinner :o.There are three main regional culture areas: western, central, and eastern. Slovensko is the shortened local name for Slovakia, or the Slovak Republic.

Slovaks share a common culture despite regional and even local differences in dialect, local customs, and religion. Hungarians Magyars in Slovakia are generally bilingual and have been acculturated but wish to maintain their national culture, especially their language.

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Location and Geography. Slovakia has a total area of 18, square miles 49, square kilometers. Its range of elevation runs from a low of feet 94 meters at the Bodrok River to a high of 8, feet 2, meters at Gerlachovsky peak in the High Tatras.

Slovakia's topography is extremely varied for such a small total area. Physiographic provinces range from the High Tatras in the north to the rich agricultural lands of the plains and the Danube Basin to the south. Bratislava, the capital, is a city ofpopulation on the Danube in southwestern Slovakia. It appears on older maps as Pressburg and was once the Hungarian capital.

The July population estimate was 5, approximately Hungarians are the largest cultural minority at Rom or Roma Gypsies account for 1. Rom occasionally self-identify as Hungarian in census records. Other groups include Czechs, 1. Rusyns are eastern Slavs who live in Slovakia, Ukraine, and Poland.

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The population growth rate is estimated to be 0. Linguistic Affiliation. Slovak, the national language, uses the Roman alphabet. Along with Czech and Polish, it is classified as a western Slavic tongue in the Indo-European language family.

slovak superstitions

Slovak is very closely related to Czech. Political circumstances beginning nearly a thousand years ago separated populations, but Slovak and Czech are still mutually intelligible. There are three main dialects of Slovak, corresponding to the western, central, and eastern regions.

It is said that the pronunciation of particular sounds in the western region is hard, while the dialect of central Slovakia is said to be softer sounding and was adopted historically as the norm. In all but parts of eastern Slovakia, the stress is on the first syllable of a word; longer words three or more syllables have secondary accents.

There are Slovak words that appear to be formed entirely or mostly of consonants, such as the term for death: smrt'.


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