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  • Goddess Marena - November 25

    Goddess Marena

    In Slavic mythology Marena (Marana, Morena, Marjane, the margin) is associated with the embodiment of death, with seasonal rituals of death and resurrection of nature, as well as with rainmaking rituals.

    Ritual meal that day includes pudding, pancakes, carrots, turnips.

    Function and origin

    The image of the Marena, the initial etymological kinship or secondary audio assimilation, is associated with death and dying seasonal agrarian rites and voskresaniya nature. Polish chronicler of the XV century, J. Dlugosz Marzhanu identified with Roman Ceres. Czech Moran (starochesh. Morana) in false glosses of «Mater Verborum» identified with Hecate and Persephone-Proserpine («Ecate, trivia vel nocticula, Proserpina»). VV Ivanov and VN Toporov Marena name associated with the name of the Roman god of war Mars, who had originally as agricultural function, restoring overall protoform * Mǒr-(while allowing that later may have been confusion - in the spirit of folk etymology - * Mǒr-roots and * mer-, «Death", resulting in a deity of fertility was also associated with death). In popular publications Marena is often described only as the goddess of death, it is often interpreted as its image in the field of neo-pagan.

    Folk rituals

    Usually stuffed Marena constructed of straw, which is placed on a pole. Marena or dressed in rags, or in holiday attire, sometimes in a white dress or suit bride adorned with ribbons, egg shells, ornaments made of straw and rags. Luzhichane wore a stuffed shirt in the dead of the last person in the village, and tying a belt last married bride. Usually Marena had a female face, it was prepared and carried through the village girls. In some places, the Czech-Slovak and adjacent area also makes the Polish and the male dummy, worn by guys.

    The rite is known in Slovakia, Moravia, Czech Republic, Poland (Wielkopolska, Silesia, Mazovia, Podlasie, Kielce, Lublin, Krakow province), Lusatia, Carinthia, as well as in Hungary and Austria. Similar rites of removal and destruction of straw man found in the Balkans and part of the Eastern Slavs (see Ivan Kupala, Kostroma, mermaid Week, Pancake).

    The rite was performed in one Sunday at the end of Lent (usually in the 4th or 5th, the Slovaks have called "black", "death", "Rubiaceae» - Čierna, Smrtna, Marmuricnova nedeľa, the Czechs - Smrtna neděle, sometimes in the 6th, Palm - Květná neděle). Marena carried with songs for the village and destroyed it: drowning (slovats., Czech., Moran., Gender.), Burned (polished, Czech.), Torn into pieces (morav.) threw a tree (morav.) smashed into a tree (slovats.), beaten with sticks (slovats. and morals.) stoned (morav.), dumped into the abyss (morav.), buried in the ground (chesh.) etc. The destruction was to be final: Keep Marena burned completely thrown into the water Marena threw stones as long as it does not sink, broken effigy burned at the stake.

    They believed that the destruction of effigies ensure early arrival of summer, good ypozhay, save the village from floods and fire, protect against plague and death, and the girls will provide marriage. Participation in the ceremony was the removal of the Marena guard from various misfortunes. The one who did not go to the "death" or late for the beginning of the ceremony, was confident that this year will die itself or bury any of his family (morav.).

    Typically, after the destruction of stuffed Marena followed the second part of the rite: there, outside the village, the youth adorned pole, which was strengthened scarecrow, or specially felled in the forest green tree, branch rags and ribbons, clothing, remove from Marena, put healthy girl or specially chosen "Queen» (kralovna), and all the songs back to the village, congratulating with the arrival of spring. For this they gave gifts and treated. Green branches or tree - a symbol of the coming of spring, life and health.

    In Ukraine, Avdotya Plyushchikha are in the villages and fields of scarecrow dressed in women's clothes, called maras or Marena (ghost). Maru accompanies this crowd of children, boys, girls and young women with loud singing. Marena in the Ukraine and called midsummer tree, decorated with wreaths, flowers, beads and ribbons. Placed near a straw doll, dressed in women's shirt - Frolic. While the girls sang and leaped over the fire, the boys sneak up, took away Maren, torn, scattered or drowned in the water. Part broken Marena girls are in the garden for fertility.

    Similar name and function of the Bulgarian rite Mara Lishanka executed by the girls on Wednesday in holidays