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Dear friends!

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 high.


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.

"Runs" also 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 refreshment.


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 healthy.


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 out.


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 new life.

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,


Dana Hodulova
A. Bernolaka 2
962 12 Detva




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.