Old Slavic Magic on CROATIAN CARNIVAL
Altough Croatia accepted Christianity in 10th century (after 925, - yes, we are so old state), none influence was able to destroy old Slavic tradition among the people, established in the old age, when Croats used to celebrate many Gods and were more connected with the forces of nature.
Old tradition was preserved among the people in the villages through the more then thousand years, and despite many foreign influences. We are very stubborn people, with the same passion we kept our language, altough very often in the history Croatian language was forbidden in the higher schools or on many working places; even Vatican did not let us to serve Holy Communion on Croatian language for many centuries! We had to serve it on Latin language, situation changed in last century.(Croats are mostly RomanCatholics).
The part of our old tradition I want to share with all of you is beautiful magical ritual, from the many villages of Croatia (now still kept in the Istria peninsula and northern part of Adriatic Coast-Primorje).
In January and February, people from the villages were bunishing evil spirits of winter and other negative influences on the following way:
All men in the village, put the horrible masks on faces and were ringing with the bells around the waists in order to scare evil spirits and negative energies away. They were walking as a group all around the village, visiting the other villages, walking and dancing around the fields and our beautiful green woods to destroy all negativity, while spreading around the ash - as a symbol of fertility.
In the mentioned parts of Croatia, this interesting old ritual is still kept alive, and "zvonchari" (men with bells) are still protecting the villages and towns by bunishing evil and inviting positive energy to come, and bless fertility and abundance of the lands and families...
Carnivals in Croatia
When there is Carnival in Croatia, towns who celebrate it proclaim "Republic of Carnival", which has all funny laws human mind can imagine. People are free to enjoy themselves completely, no rules of society are present. They are free to drink, eat as much they can, and pretend under the masks they are somebody else. This celebration is established among the people so they can let out from themselves all stress and problems, while being marry, relaxed and...hm...a little bit irresponsible under the masks. So many flirting is also happening, because everybody pretends is somebody else...It is great, because nobody is taking anything seriously, everything is a big joke for 7 or 10 days.
Burning the Prince of Carnival
On the end of carnival, there is also ritual of burning the doll in which people project all their negativity. This doll (we call it Prince of Carnival) represents all evil, all problems and negativity people used to have in previous period.
After putting it on fire, fire clears it all...energy is renewed, and people can have new beginning...