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Christianization of folk customs: An example of Ox'Church

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Author(s): Ivanović-Barišić Milina

Journal: Glasnik Etnografskog Instituta SANU
ISSN 0350-0861

Volume: 57;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 175;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Zuce | provlaka | wild fire | village St. patron/slava-day | church St. patron/slava day | hospitality

ABSTRACT
This paper deals with the process of transformation of a pre-Christian custom in Zuce, a village near by Belgrade. The custom is called 'provlaka', held all until the WW II on August 29. This custom was established after the cattle pest in the village. Since WW II, however, this day is celebrated as the village St. patrons/slava day. After the village church has been built and blessed in 2002, the day became also celebrated as one of the church's slava days. Transformation of holidays assumes vanishing of some and appearance of some other segments of the given custom: 1. Until WW II the most important segment of the custom 'provlaka' was extracting wild fire and passage of people and cattle. This custom was maintained with an aim of preventive protection against epidemics. 2. A significant feature of annual celebration of calendar holidays included collective gatherings. On this day people visit relatives from other villages, attend lunch together, and gather at a particular village spot in the afternoon. 3. The beginning of the church building has allowed introduction of religious elements in celebration. In the morning, it is a time usually to attend a liturgy, while what follows represent some inherited customs like reception and eating together with relatives and friends. 4. After the village church has been built and blessed in 2002, the day became also celebrated as one of the church's slava days. This assumes presentation of the village cake maker and cake cutting in the church, accompanied by a local priest.
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