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22-10-2021, 10:11 UTC

Morena - Death Sunday

On the so-called "Death Sunday" - two weeks before Easter Sunday - unmarried girls used to make a dummy symbolising Death. It was called Smrt, Smrtholka, Morena or Marena. It was usually made of straw, dressed in old clothes, decorated with eggshells or empty snail shells. The girls would carry Death outside the village where they burnt it or more often threw it into a stream or river which took it away as a symbol of the parting winter.

Summer, summer, where have you been so long...

Lito (Photo: Jakub Langhammer) The counterpoint to Death was "Lito" ("summer" in Czech), also called "letecko" or "majicek", which symbolised the coming of spring and renewal of life. Unlike Death it was made of a living and colourful thing, like a sapling or a green twig - symbolising life. There were two kinds of traditional "lito". In the west of the country, in Bohemia and parts of Moravia bordering on Bohemia, they were made from the tops of conifer trees. In the east, especially on the Slovak border, they were traditionally made from sallow branches. The "lito" was accompanied by a doll, a symbol of the future and fertility.

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