Monday, September 29, 2014

Why I am so odd...Slovak Traditions, Part 1

When my cousin visited recently from Slovakia, he brought me an excellent book, Slovak Folk Customs and Traditions. I have a feeling this will keep me amused all winter.

This kind of stuff, superstitions and such, drives DH a little batty but I think it's fascinating. These date waaayyyy back in time when the people were illiterate and learned from their mothers and grandmothers. It is true that tradition can easily turn into superstition but I think it's kind of sweet mostly. Mainly because the "superstitions" are often to ward off evil spirits or magic. Also, they worked hard and had difficult lives. It seems to me like they were just creating entertainment for themselves. I'm sure Peter gave me this to make me laugh but also to know I'm one of the tribe...without a doubt.

I'm sure I'll share more along the way but here are a few baby-related gems...

Children were wrapped in diapers made of old shirts. Girls were wrapped in women's blouses and boys in men's shirts. Diapers were not allowed to be dried out in the wind, as the baby would lose sleep. A baby girl's diapers could not be washed in the stream so she would not mature too soon.

For the christening, the godparents brought a long candle and a shirt with the name, date of birth, and date of christening embroidered on it for the baby. When leaving for the church the godparents (the parents didn't go) said, "We are taking a pagan from you and we shall return with a Christian."

Oh, I like that last one. Sorry I didn't read this sooner.


  1. Hey - I nominated you for a Liebster Award :-)