St. Nicholas Processions in Horni Lidecsko as a Part of Wallachia’s Cultural Heritage and Testimony to the Survival of the Carpathian Culture



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Łódzkie Studia Etnograficzne
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords St. Nicholas; devil; procession; tradition; Wallachia; Advent
Description St. Nicholas processions are ranked among the most significant traditions and are frequently considered the climax of the Advent. This is definitely the case of Horni Lidecsko, where as soon as the All Saints’ Day is over, masked characters come out and walk around villages until the holiday of St. Nicholas. The devils that are present in villages where people incline towards the Roman Catholic faith form an inseparable part of the cultural heritage of the local villages and the entire region. This study outlines the current form of St. Nicholas processions and the masked characters, but attention is paid also to the most significant changes that impacted the formation of the flying phenomenon and have shaped the tradition into its existing form. A portion of the paper deals with the historical background of the tradition and the individual characters that are a part of it, their role, and the symbolic meaning of the procession. The aim of the paper is to present the St. Nicholas procession and its attributes by means of an analysis of individual factors that impact its form outside the Czech Republic. The research has also addressed several aspects that have formed this phenomenon, namely the organization of the event and the identity of both the active and the passive participants. The study presents a research sample of bearers of the tradition and motivational elements thanks to which the tradition is still alive and passed from one generation to the next in such a scope as it is. In addition to the above, the paper explores the forms of the support provided by the villages as well as the differing opinions held by inhabitants of the region with regard to entering the St. Nicholas procession on the List of Intangible Elements of Traditional Folk Culture of the Czech Republic. A section in the paper also answers the question whether the event is a part of cultural heritage that is present in Wallachia permanently and in an authentic, almost unaltered form.
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