Poludnitsa is a Slavic female mythological character

Poludnitsa is a Slavic female mythological character, the personification of a midday (noon) – a borderline time of day dangerous for humans, according to the beliefs of our ancestors. She combines the features of a solar spirit (associated with summer sunlight and heat) and a seasonal demon (manifests itself during the blooming and ripening of crops). Poles called her Południca, Czechs – Polednice, Lusatians – Připołdnica or Pśespołnica.

It was believed that Poludnitsa comes from the dead people who do not have peace in the “next world”: from engaged girls who died before the wedding, as the Slovaks thought, from the souls of evil people, witches and sorcerers in the beliefs of the Poles.

Characters similar to Poludnitsa are also known among the Slavs. For example, Żytna Baba for the Poles, Režna Ženka for the Czechs, Zalizna Baba for the Ukrainians, Udelnitsa for the Russians, ‘Dyka Baba z dzheliznym makogonom’ for the Rusyns. They also stay in the field during the ripening of the harvest, regulate human behavior during this period and punish those who ruin the crops.

What other harvest protectors do you know?

To be continued…
Photo: Marina Syskova