TRADITIONS IN BUDČA
I would like to thank you
very much for all the greetings and Christmas cards I received from you. I
wish you all good health, happiness, and success in the year 1996.
There was no article of
mine in the last issue of SHL. As Vladimir visited Slovakia, he had to
publish the newsletter earlier than it was planned. The article I had
prepared before is now not topical anymore, and so I decided that this
time I will look into my final thesis and describe some customs and
traditions from the village of Budca (central Slovakia, very close to
Zvolen), where I found all the material for my final work.
This village is situated
on the boundary of three regions-Podpolanie, Horehronie and Hont
and this mean, that its folklore was never purely differentiated. However,
the folk tradition had been created here and it played an important role
in the life of inhabitants of the village.
Besides the customs and
ceremonies of the social occasions, there were also many superstitions
and, of course, many acts connected with them. People stuck to the old
tradition. As the years went by, superstitions slowly slipped away,
"magic acts" disappeared, only the memories remained.
If a man (guy) wanted to
find out which woman from the village was a witch, in the period from
December 13 to 24 (from the name day of Lucia- Christmas day) he had to
make a little wooden stool-with no pieces of iron or nails-and he had
to sit on the stool during the midnight Mass. He then saw a witch. It was
supposed to be the first woman he met on the way from the church. On
Christmas day girls used to cook halusky and put small pieces of paper
with names of guys into them. The first name (first haluska) that floated
on the surface was the name of her future husband.
It was a holiday when
nobody was allowed to work. On Hromnice (February 2) people from the whole
village used to go sledding down the hill, so that their hemp would grow
The period of Fasiangy
is said to be the merriest time of the year. It lasts from Jan 6 (Three
Kings) till the "great fast" which starts 40 days before Easter,
it's called Popolcova (skareda) streda-Ugly Ash Wednesday. Fasiangy
was a very well-timed period for weddings. It was also a great
opportunity for entertainment, costume parties, various "runs,"
feasts and dancing parties. The jollity got more intensive by the end of
Fasiangy, the parties were full of people from the village-both young
and old; even the children were allowed to come.
Was a very welcomed
occasion for entertainment. Girls used to gather in the evening, always in
somebody else's house and used to spin the wool to threads. Guys would
come to see them and the party, dancing, and games would begin.
belonged to the tradition of Fasiangy. Children who attended school used
to collect presents for their teacher. Everybody would go fasangovat-shepherds, village announcer, drummer and the other village servants.
The main characters of
these runs were guys - fasangovnici. They were walking in the street,
carrying a spit, which was a symbol of the feast. They visited every
house, said their wish to the family, performed their short program and
danced with girls or young women. Everywhere they were given something-cakes, brandy, bacon, sausages, and eggs. Some of these they would sell
and for this money they organized a party, The rest was used as a
On Velky Piatok (Big Friday) before the sunrise guys and boys used to water horses, so
that the horses would not have scabies. On Biela Sobota (White Saturday)
when the church bells were untied, people ran to the brook to wash
themselves - after that they were supposed to be good - looking and
It was a tradition in the
village that before baptism, in the morning the godmother brought boiled
plums in a jar, meat soup in another one and pasta (rezance) with poppy
seed & doughnuts on a plate to the woman in childbed.
When the ill person could
not die and was suffering a long time, his bed was put parallel with the
beams. When he died, they opened the windows, so that his soul could go
Wedding was a great
"national theater" where the whole village participated. The
main person was the bride. Many ceremonial acts were being carried out
around her. They represented her parting from being single and entering a
Wedding customs and
traditions are very colorful and wedding ceremony is so capacious, that it
can't be described just in a few words. Maybe some other time, if you
still have enough patience to read my articles, I could describe the whole
village wedding in detail.
All the best to you,
A. Bernolaka 2
962 12 Detva
TO EASTER TRADITIONS
TO SLOVAK CHRISTMAS
TO FOLK CUSTOMS
Published in the Slovak Heritage
Live Newsletter, Volume 4, No. 1, Spring 1996
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1996
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced,
republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without
the express written permission of Vladimir
Linder. All rights reserved.