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


He is a demon or god of vegetation, youth, strength, love, fertility, harvest, cattle, but also god of anger, fury and war, protector of the poor and firstborn children.

The word ''june'' for a one year old cow and ''junak'' for a young man are derivations of his name. ''Prvi'' means ''the first'' in Croatian and since he is the protector of the firstborn children, place names such as: Pribić, Pribinić, Pribinović, Pribislavec perhaps have something to do with the Green George.

Some claim that he is the son of Perun, the embodiment of man's connection with nature, the Croatian pre-Christian agricultural and cattle deity. In the written sources he is described as a man with a cape and a flower wreath on his head, a sheaf in his left hand and a human head in his right hand. Christianity replaced him with St.George, a Roman army officer and martyr from the time of persecution of Christians in the 4th century. At the time of the crusades he became the symbol of an ideal Christian knight who persecuted the dragon on his white horse. (White horses are called ''zelenko'' in Croatian and the word ''zelen'' means ''green''.)

He took over this role from the creature Golem from the eastern mythology. Golem was also Adam's name before God gave him life and the power of speech. Golem cut off the dragon's head with a sword and thus saved the maidens who were supposed to be sacrificed to him. He saved all the others and the nature from the fear of him and made them rejoyce and celebrate life. It is mentioned in some sources that he gave the dragon's head to Christ who is sometimes depicted as stepping on the dragon's head.

St. George was the most popular of all saints of the western civilization in the Middle Ages. The Christian fathers have proclaimed him a pagan saint, so his day was wisely moved from the 26th November, the day of the autumn George, on 23rd April in the Catholic calender. He is said to spread the Christian thought. He became the slayer of the dragon only after the old religion was abandoned.

He is the protector of the Earth, vegetation and cattle, farmers and cattle breeders, crafts and people when they are in peril. He is the victor over his subconsciouos. Perhaps he is the reason why the pre-Christian Slavic warriors, who were otherwise peacefull, welcoming and loyal to their families in peaceful times became wild and brutal during the war. Dying from the hand of the enemy was a dishonourable thing. Those who were killed when they were slaying the enemy were honoured in the afterworld.

Different gods are similar to him, like the Sumeric Tamuz, the Greek Adonis, the Roman Mars, the Baltic Slavic Gerovit who had seven heads and eight swords, the eastern Slavic Jarilo, the Latvian Jumil, which literally means ''the twin'', the Estonian Jumal, which means ''god'' and the Baltic Finnish Jumi. The embodiment of George in the kajkavian part of Croatia was a young man whose peers would mask him by throwing a one-piece or two-piece cone basket made of young budding twigs over his head and naked body. The basked would reach to his hips or his knees. The same mask was worn by the members of the procession of young people who called rain in spring and were called ''dodole''. The masked young man would hold a maypole (called ''majga'' in Croatian), decorated with ribbons and an apple, and lead the procession. The maypole was sometimes called the green George or the flag. The procession announced the arrival of the return of the vegetation demon from the world of the dead. They went around the village in the eve or on St. George's day and sang, made noise, played music and gather presents in the basket, mostly eggs. The Russian Green George had a big cake on his head and a fork in his hand when he walked in the procession.

The Green George danced several different dances and all of them had different symbolical meaning. He jumped high up in the air so the crops would grow high, he spun around in order to chase the demons away and he shook and waved his arms thus immitating and calling rain. Sometimes the others from the procession threw water on him or threw him or his maypole in water. The procession visited every house and presented it with a twig from George's basket. It was supposed to protect the household from storm, illness and evil forces and transfer the life-giving forces of spring on the people in the house.

The Green Goerge was also the personification of spring and well-being and therefore it was said that he unlocks the Earth and frees the dew which makes plants grow and fights the winter demon wrapped in straw. He punishes those who do not honour him with flowers and processions. The described ceremony is actually an old Slavic spring festival called ''Jarilo''. In Croatian and Slovenian the word ''jara'' means ''overflowing'' and in Bulgarian the word ''jarilo'' means any nature festival. It was actually a celebration of the young birch tree. On this day people went on pilgrimages to holy mountains, danced, etc. The Russians used to have wild celebrations and burned or buried a straw puppet with a large penis. In Belarus only girls celebrated this festival. They put a white cape over one of the girls and sat her on a white horse, which was also one of the symbols of St. George. The horse was tied to a pole and they danced around them until dawn, wearing flower wreaths on their heads.

This festival is similar to the Christain holiday of Ascension, called ''Spasovo'' in Croatian, which is celebrated at different times among the Slavic nations depending on the climate of their country. Sometimes they celebrate it at the beginning of April, sometimes at the end of June or at the beginning of July. But, they always celebrate it in similar ways - they walk around the village or in the nature, that is have ceremonial processions of the, so called, crusaders.

The central character of these festivities is Jarilo (The Belorussians call ''Spasovo'', the Ascension, ''Jarilo'' even today). Jarilo is the same as old George. In the Croatian folk tradition the day of the Summer, i.e. Fat Goerge is celebrated during the harvest, on the 31st August. After the harvest the Fat George must die. In other words the life of George, the god of vegetation follows the life of the grain crops and the harvest and the year cycle. His name is a combination of the words ''ju'' and ''raj'' which mean ''young'' and ''heaven'' and signify a land rich with grain where the souls of the dead live.

In a Belarus folk song, ''Rajak'' represents the last sheaf in the field that has come alive. In the Croatian kajkavian folk legend George is a hunter (''jager''), wearing a green raincoat, blue trousers and yellow boots (the Indoeuropean word ''ghel'' means ''yellow or green''). He carries a sabre or a gun and has a hat made of marten fur on his head, decorated with a twig and often a coockoo bird sitting on the twig. The marten and the coockoo bird are symbols of Goerge's bride, his unrecognized twin sister.

A folk tale from Bilogora in Croatia tells of ''jagari'', little foresters, that is little or night hunters similar in some traits to dwarves. They are weak like the early spring. The hunt that the mythical Goerge goes to has ritual and symbolical meaning. In the first case this royal art shows his youth, strength, quickness and bravery. It enables him to catch sacrificial animals and food used for communion. He also chases lethal evil influences from future arable land. (The Chaos is represented by wild beasts.) It also identifies him with the spiritual search through the images of love which plays, hunts, blinds and burns. The wedding of the vegetation god comes after St. George's day. The Croats celebrated it on St. John's day (midsummer day). Midsummer festivities are similar to harvest festivities and the festivities that celebrate the old Jarilo, so it is possible that the spring George from Croatian mythology transforms into John of the summer, one of his aspects of the year. That is why people in the old days imagined old deities to have more than one head.

It is also possible that one of his young brothers takes his place in the vegetation cycle. The folk legend says that there were nine godly children - the twins George and Mary (''Lepa Mara'', the beautiful Mary) and seven of their brothers. The vegetation god represents the moon and is therefore changeable like the moon. Because of his infidelity, his wife's family will kill him. To be unfaithful means to change identity. The housmaster, who represents the Thundermaker Perun, burns his home in the forest, that is the yule log or a stump, straw or straw wreath on Christmas Eve in the fireplace. The same happens on Shrove Tuesday when a straw puppet is burned. This is the way a father sacrifices his son after which the new year and the new cycle can begin. If the Thundermaker separates himself from his dark side as his dark brother Veles, he returns his son to his brother who raised him in the underground world of the dead. The winter time of the vegetation period represents this underworld of the dead.