Author of all texts about mythology on these web-pages is Lidija Bajuk:

  1. PERUN
      - The Sky
      - The Mountain
      - Leluya
      - Ball lightning
      - Candlemen
      - Fairies
      - Witches
      - Water
      - Bogorodica
      - The Moon
      - Corn Spirit
      - Hair
      - Embroidery
      - Light
      - Forest
      - The Cap, Little Hat


In the dark of night or in winter, heavenly gods do not have such great powers as the divine creatures of the underground. The gods of light, heavenly fire and earth vegetation go blind or shrink into dwarves. People and their homes (because during the night or in winter people usually stay in their homes) are taken care of by the dark gods, keepers of treasure, guards of the fireplace in the house. They have to be cajoled by prayers and gifts. How did our ancestors imagine these deities?

The good ones and the bad ones were imagined to be fit oponents - strong, fast, clever and cunning. The good ones were beautiful and just and the bad ones were ugly and sneaky. They all had animal representatives. Animals which are the representatives of the good gods are usually those which live in higher places and have fair hair or feathers or the ones that could be hunted and eaten. The representatives of the bad gods were animals that crawl on the ground, live in hollows, caves and swamps, and have dark or brown hair or feathers and beasts.

The oldest of all the dragons is ''sarkanj'' a winged snake, especially the kind that is nine years old. A horrible three-, seven-, nine- or twelve-headed dragon is exceptionally strong, has large eyes of lightning (with which he sleeps awake and is awake sleeping). He has a hard cockscomb and donkey''s ears on his head, pointy teeth in a sharp beak from which a horrible smelly breath spreads. His body is green and similar to a lizard''s and his blood is poisonous because he feeds on human flesh. The body changes colour when he is flying. He has bear's paws, snake's tail and eagle or peacock's wings. (He spreads his wings on midsummer day.) He awakes every night or every season and flies from the depths of the underground waters high up in the sky.

A legend from the Middle Ages tells of a dragon from Čakovec whose head is under St. Nicholas' church and the tail under the Old Citadel. That dragon could only be tamed by the black magic student, a lower young god or the early spring sun deity that just restored its strength. He sells the dragon's skin in far away places. The skin can be the source of warmth (because he is the guardian of fire) or the source of cold (because he is the guardian of the underground water).

There is a tale of another dragon told by the inhabitants of the Croatian village Donji Vidovec. They describe it differently. Sometimes it is the winged snake or lizard, sometimes the three-headed monster, or a horse with three wings, a water bull, old black cock, wolf of fire or a winged fish. The inhabitants of this northernmost part of Croatia tell that it comes to life in the ooze forming from a fish or a snake that nobody has seen or from a seven-year-old cock. He makes rain and therefore is a fertility god. He guards the cattle in stables and the fire in the fireplace and nourishes the family. In time he becomes the eater of light, kidnapper of girls and nurses, murderer of children and young men, destroyer of the crops.

In Croatian, when the weather is bad, it is said that it is the dragon's weather. Sometimes witches ride on the dragon instead on the broom. The secret of his strength is in the egg (the first water) which can be found in a pidgeon which is in the rabbit which is in his body. It is possible that the name for the Christian holiday Christmas Eve, called ''badnjak'' in Croatian and taken from the pre-Christian period, is derived from the word ''budnja noć'', the night of disorder at the end or the bottom of a year. The yule log (''badnjak'') should be burnt because a dragon lives in it and it should be set free in order to become the night or winter deity.

With the arrival of spring it leaves the underground and flies up to the mountain, i.e. the Heaven. His fire then becomes thunder and the dragon becomes the deity of heaven. It is good when the dragon remains underground where he guards his treasure: fire and water, love, immortality. He can turn into these things as well. Old Germanic peoples used to believe that a dragon can drop a bag full of presents through the chimney, a story which reminds of the Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) and Father Christmas stories. When he is bad, he can cause drought, earthquake, war, etc. The fight of the good and bad happens inside every individual. This clash of the dual character is obvious in the belief that the dragon was perhaps, at first, only the negative aspect of the sun. The positive aspect being the day or the sky sun (when it is high up in the sky) and the negative aspect being the night or the earth sun (when it sets or weakens in the second part of the year and when it was identified with the moon). The positive and the negative aspects were represented as the sun conquering the dragon or as the dragon devouring the sun.