In short

Semik (seventh Thursday after Easter) was an annual holiday of the ancient religion Slavic of the north dedicated to the expulsion of spirits. They are called rusalki in Russia, vil or samovile in Serbo-Croatia and Bulgaria.


Semik, for the impure dead

The spirits of the deceased are not only revered but also feared, especially the spirits of those who were prematurely deprived of life and its joys. It is believed that these spirits are greedy for the good things thus lost and that they try to return to life, at the peril of the living. These are the premature deaths, the so-called impure deaths. Young girls who die before marriage are particularly feared and are said to be dependent on the kidnapping of bridegrooms and babies.

The dead person who does not decompose in the grave becomes a vampire, a word and concept of Slavic origin. To save the living from the misdeeds of a vampire, you must drive a stake into the grave so that it passes through the corpse's heart or exhume the corpse and burn it. 

As the classes of impure dead are believed to have been constantly increasing (in Macedonia, for example, all those born in the three months between Christmas and Lady's Day are believed to be impure), then all the dead – formerly objects of reverence and piety – will at some point be in danger of resentment, fear and possibly contempt. A Christian clergy who lent their presence to the exhumation and destruction of vampires thus unknowingly contributed to the preservation of this last phase of Slavic paganism in modern times.

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Today the peoples slavs celebrate Semik. Funeral rites are held for the dead. Birches are particularly important, as they are considered hosts for the souls of the departed. Sometimes people honor a particular tree by decorating it or carrying it. #mythology #myth #legend #semik #calendar