Monday, June 07, 2010

Rusalka Week, Bulgaria

In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural: rusalki) was a female ghost, water nymph, succubus or mermaid-like demon that dwelled in a waterway (see also Sacred Wells and Springs). To the Bulgarians, the week following Trinity (June 6 in 2004 – see Easter calculator) was Rusalka Nedela or Rusalka Week. The Rusalki arrived on Monday, bringing with them Rusalka Sickness, apparently a kind of lovesickness.

Spinning and weaving were forbidden the womenfolk, as were sleeping during the day or hair washing, especially on Monday and Wednesday.

Women wore garlic and walnut leaves for protection. During the week, girls made bouquets for the men and a circle dance was held.

Men called Koluchari sang to cure the love-sick, following which they broke ceramic pots to break the spell.

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