Lada and Ljeljo in the folklore of Croats and Slavic context

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 5, 2012

Original scientific paper

Marko Dragić   ORCID icon ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia  

pages 43-62

05_03_Dragic PDF


In Slavic mythology, Lada is the goddess of spring, youth and fertility, and her son Ljeljo is the God of love. Until 1950s Croats performed processions, ceremonies and songs in honour of these deities. However, these rituals and songs as well as other oral-literary forms remain in the folk memory. Many ritual lyric songs preserved archetypal forms. Some of them are close by their structure to oral-rhetorical forms. These songs belong to the genre of magical literature. The linguistic characteristics of these songs are: rhythmics, symbolism, the picturesque, metaphoricity, allegoricity
and emotionality. Some customs and rituals are preserved in the records, but there are even more preserved in the national memory. Since 1949, the cult Lado ensemble nurtures the traditional culture at homeland and abroad. Generally it can be said that with Croatian independence there was a revival of Croatian traditional culture and interest in oral literature. Many cultural-artistic associations revive old customs. Many cultural-artistic associations revitalized the
ancient Ladarice and Lelja processions.


Lada; Ljeljo; processions; rituals; magical songs