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Dodola (also spelled ''Doda'', ''Dudulya'' and ''Didilya''), also known under the names for butterfly: Paparuda, Peperuda, Perperuna or Preperuša, is a pagan tradition found in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
. The central character of the ceremony is usually an orphan girl, less often, a boy. Wearing a skirt made of fresh green knitted vines and small branches, the girl born after the death of her father, the last girl child of the mother (if the mother subsequently gives birth to another child, great misfortunes are expected in the village), sings and dances through the streets of the village, stopping at every house, where the hosts sprinkle water on her. The ritual is associated with a particular tune to which a particular dance is performed, not only by the girl, but also by the villagers who follow her through the streets, shouting their encouragement. According to some interpretations, Dodola is a Slavic goddess of rain, and the wife of the supreme deity
Perun In Slavic paganism, Slavic mythology, Perun (Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Перýн) is the highest god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, law, war, fertility and oak trees. His other attr ...
(god of
thunder Thunder is the sound In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in othe ...

thunder
in the Slavic pantheon). Slavs believed that when Dodola milks her heavenly cows, the
cloud In meteorology, a cloud is an aerosol consisting of a visible mass of minute liquid drop (liquid), droplets, ice crystals, frozen crystals, or other particulates, particles suspended in the atmosphere of a planetary body or similar space. Wate ...

cloud
s, it rains on earth. Each spring Dodola is said to fly over woods and fields, and spread vernal greenery, decorating the trees with blossoms.


Names

The custom is known by the names ''Dodola'' (''dodole'', ''dudula'', ''dudulica'', ''dodolă'') and ''Perperuna'' (''peperuda'', ''peperuna'', ''peperona'', ''perperuna'', ''prporuša'', ''preporuša'', ''paparudă'', ''pirpirună''). Both names are used by the
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are ...
,
Romanians The Romanians ( ro, români, ; dated exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeas ...
,
Albanians The Albanians (; sq, Shqiptarët, ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attrib ...

Albanians
and northern
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
. Albanians also use the name ''Rona'' and the masculine name ''Dordolec'' (''durdulec''). The name ''Perperuna'' is identified as the reduplicated feminine
derivative In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...
of the name of the god ''
Perun In Slavic paganism, Slavic mythology, Perun (Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Перýн) is the highest god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, law, war, fertility and oak trees. His other attr ...
'' (''per-perun-a'').
Sorin Paliga Sorin Paliga (born Viorel-Sorin Paliga on June 21, 1956 in Braniștea, Dâmbovița County, Romania) is a Romanian linguist and politician. He is a university professor at the University of Bucharest. As a politician, he was the former mayor of S ...

Sorin Paliga
suggested that it was a divinity from the local
Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited large parts of Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in S ...
substratum.
Sorin Paliga Sorin Paliga (born Viorel-Sorin Paliga on June 21, 1956 in Braniștea, Dâmbovița County, Romania) is a Romanian linguist and politician. He is a university professor at the University of Bucharest. As a politician, he was the former mayor of S ...

Sorin Paliga
: "Influenţe romane și preromane în limbile slave de sud
.pdf
The name ''Dodola'' is possibly
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
with the Lithuanian ''dundulis'', a word for thunder and another name of the Baltic thunder-god
Perkūnas Perkūnas ( lt, Perkūnas, lv, Pērkons, Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European ...
. D. Decev compared the word "dodola" (also ''dudula'', ''dudulica'', etc.) with
Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited large parts of Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in S ...
anthroponyms (
personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names. An ''wikt:orthonym, orthonym'' is the proper name of the object in question, the object of onomastic study. ...
s) and toponyms (place names), such as ''Doidalsos'', ''Doidalses'', ''Dydalsos'', ''Dudis'', ''Doudoupes'', etc. Paliga argued that based on this, the custom most likely originated from the Thracians. A much more likely explanation for the variations of the name Didilya is that this is a title for the spring goddess Lada/Lela that got turned into the "name" of a goddess. Ralston explains that dido, means “great” and is usually used in conjunction with the spring god Lado.


Ritual

The first written description of the custom was left by the Bulgarian
hieromonk A hieromonk ( el, Ἱερομόναχος, Ieromonachos; ka, მღვდელმონაზონი, tr; Church Slavonic, Slavonic: ''Ieromonakh'', ro, Ieromonah), also called a priestmonk, is a monk who is also a Priest#Roman Catholic and O ...

hieromonk
Spiridon Gabrovski in 1792. He tells how in times of drought young boys and girls would dress one of their number in a net and a wreath of leaves in the likeness of
Perun In Slavic paganism, Slavic mythology, Perun (Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Перýн) is the highest god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, law, war, fertility and oak trees. His other attr ...
or Peperud, whom Spiridon mistakenly believed to be an old Bulgarian ruler. They would then walk in procession around the houses, singing, dancing and pouring water over each other. Villagers would give them money, which they later used to buy food and drink to celebrate in
Perun In Slavic paganism, Slavic mythology, Perun (Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Перýн) is the highest god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, law, war, fertility and oak trees. His other attr ...
’s honor. South Slavs used to organise the Dodole (or Perperuna)
festival A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or Muslim holidays, eid. A festiva ...

festival
in times of
drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...

drought
, where they worshipped the goddess and prayed to her for rain. In the ritual, young women sing specific songs to Dodola, accompanying it by a dance, while covered in leaves and small branches. In Croatia Dodole is often performed by folklore groups. In folklore of
Turopolje Turopolje () is a region in Croatia situated between the capital city Zagreb and Sisak. The administrative center of the region Turopolje is the town of Velika Gorica. Overview Turopolje forms a part of Posavina, a region to the south of Zagreb ...
on the holidays of St. Juraj called '' Jurjevo'' five most beautiful maidens are picked to portray Dodola goddesses in leaf-dresses and sing for the village till the end of the holiday. Serbian ritual chant sung by youngsters going through the village in the dry, summer months.


Dodole in Macedonia

The oldest record for Dodole rituals in Macedonia is the song "Oj Ljule" from
Struga Struga ( mk, Струга , sq, Strugë) is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts o ...

Struga
region, recorded in 1861. The Dodola rituals in Macedonia were actively held until the 1960s. Bulgarian traditional ''Peperuda'' song with literal translation;


See also

*
Caloian Caloian is a rain ritual in Romania, similar in some ways to ''Dodola''. It is found mostly in Wallachia (the southern part of Romania). The origin of this ritual, as is the case with those of many other local popular beliefs and practices, prece ...
*
German (mythology) German (GER-man, ) is a South Slavic mythological being, recorded in the folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an ...


References


Bibliography

*


Further reading

* "The Paparude and Kalojan". In: . ''Paganism in Romanian Folklore''. London: J.M.Dent &Sons LTD. 1928. pp. 27-36.


External links

* {{Slavic mythology Bulgarian folklore Bulgarian traditions Moldovan traditions Rainmaking (ritual) Romanian folklore Romanian traditions Serbian folklore Serbian traditions South Slavic culture