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 Jurjevo or Hidirlez

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PostSubject: Jurjevo or Hidirlez   Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:34 pm

Bosnians in some regions still celebrated some of these feast days in 1987. Ritual events were said to place so and so many weeks afters Jurjev or Hidirlez. The sun is said to be good after Jurjev, but before Jurjev it is recommended that you not expose yourself to direct sunlight for long, as the sin „not good“ and will give you a headache. Certain crops should be sown before Hidirlez and others after. The dates for the annual prayers for rain and the Dolina dova (prayers) are reckoned from Hidirlez. In fact the day marks the traditional celebration of spring and fertility, its origin is not Christian feast day, its origin paganism celebration.
This day is regarded as particularly auspicious for various magic spells and divinatory practices. For instance, women may perform different sorts of magic to prevent evil spells being cast. Women agreed, however, that Bosniak women from eastern Bosnia knew much more about such spells than the women from Dolina, and everyone remembered a man, since dead, who used to cast spells on cows on Jurjev or Hidirlez. On this day girls are supposed to throw their shoes across the roof of their house; from the way the shoe points a girl can predict the direction in which she will marry. Most of the customs associated with the Jurjev celebrations involve the young and unmarried and the are clearly fertility symbols. Customs associated with this day may vary somewhat throughout Bosnia, but in Dolina there were two main events both of which involved the young.
On the evening before Hidirlez the boys made flutes of wood. This used to be gone by young, unmarried men and significantly, was made from the wood of a young tree. On the following morning they went around to all the house and blew their flutes to wake people up (originally, to wake up the girls). On the eve of Hidirlez the girls went to the water mill to collect water in bottles, which are hidden away from the boys somewhere outside the house overnight. On the following morning the girls washed their faces in the water caught from the mill to look beautiful and get rosa cheeks. Later during the day and in the evening, the boys and girls and other villagers and young people from neighboring villages walked up step paths to attend the fair (teferić), which was held on the highest hill in the village.
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PostSubject: Re: Jurjevo or Hidirlez   Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:48 pm


Bosniak girls burnt powder on  Jurjevo (Sastavci or Mijena),  and watched where the wind would drive the smoke believing that they would marry to a village or town lying in that direction. A custom has been preserved in Orasje up to this day that Bosniaks celebrate Jurjevo. All girls in the village, or at least those who had not been betrothed, would plant onion a few days before Jurjevo.
The girls would take special pains about this onion. A night before Jurjevo  the girls would give each onion the name of the boy they liked. When they woke up in the morning, they would look which onion had grown highest. The name of the highest onion stalk was the name of the future bridegroom. The boys used to go around the houses of the girls they liked, eager to hear whether the girls would give an onion their name. However, the girls were cunning, as always, and spoke the names in a whisper so that nobody could hear them. It was not enough just to think of a name; they had to pronounce it aloud. Should they fail to do so, the name of the onion in question would not count. Having seen which onion had grown highest, they had to pick it and in the evening give it to the boy whose name the onion bore. The boys made special preparations for that night. They were all eagerly waiting for a girl to give them an onion.
They would put on their new clothes, especially bought for the dancing-party. In the old days the parties used to start at seven and end by ten; one danced kolos (kolo = a reel dance) and sang the accompanying songs (so called hop-songs), including this one:

O you lad, you young lad!
Rise early, rise early,
hasten to the girls’ gardens,
harness your fiery stallion!

Look, the girls are leaving,
plucking their soothsaying herbs,
choosing their sweethearts,
looking after the horses.

The girls have plucked their herbs,
chosen their sweethearts,
will you eat or throw them
will you detest or savour them!

At the end of the dancing-party the girls would give the boys the respective onion. The boy who accepted the girl who had given it to him had to eat the onion. If he refused to eat the onion, it would mean that he did not like the girl. This rarely happened, but it did happen that a boy got more pieces of onion. Then there was a problem. The next day they would go on living and working as before the Jurjevo, but they were all looking forward to the next Jurjevo.

Informator: Tukulj Abdulah, Orašje, born 1940.
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