Friday, January 9, 2009

Burning the Yule branch

The badnjak (BAHD-nyak) is a central feature in the traditional Serbian Christmas celebration. It is the log that a family solemnly brings into the house in the evening of Serbian Christmas Eve (January 6th), and puts on the fire. The tree for the badnjak, preferably a young and straight oak, is felled and stripped of its branches early in the morning of Christmas Eve. The burning of the badnjak is accompanied by prayers so that the coming year may bring plenty of happiness, love, luck, riches, and food. The ideal environment to fully carry out these customs is the traditional multi-generation country household. Since most Serbs live today in towns and cities, the log is symbolically represented by several leaved oak twigs that can be bought at marketplaces or received in churches.

My son and I burned ours on our terrace on Serbian Christmas morning (January 7th), as you can see in the photo above.

16 comments:

Josephus Flavius said...

Very neat. Cross posted.

Tamera said...

I wish you well in the coming year!

Sharon said...

What an interesting tradition. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year!

Chuck Pefley said...

That's a wonderful custom.

I would imagine a freshly felled tree might be difficult to burn?

Alexa said...

I know that 2008 was a most difficult year for your family. Hope that your prayers are answered in 2009, and that I finally get to meet you this year.
Meanwhile, happy Serbian Christmas to you and yours.

Bendz said...

Hi,

Nice information with good photos.

Wish you this new year gives you health and wealth.

:-)
Insurance

soulbrush said...

and i too wish you all health and peaceful happiness. how do you do it? every photo is amazing!

Knoxville Girl said...

thanks for sharing the tradition with us, and I love the angle of this photo. may you and your family have blessings and good things for the season, and the year.

richies said...

I like learning about traditions in other cultures. I had never heard of the badnjak tradition before. Thanks for sharing.

An Arkie's Musings

Lessie said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this!

Joni said...

You have a very interesting blog. Thanks for commmenting on my art too! I'll check out that link to the web-site you sent today!

Happy New Year to you!!

Belgrade Daily Photo said...

That's a great photo!

angela said...

What an interesting custom..does it mean that you're still celebrating Christmas? I love the angle and the colors..

Re the Barbies..sorry to sound moronic but how do I search your blog?

MuseSwings said...

This is a beautiful tradition!

Tash said...

Beautiful & touching photo. I love the way you caught the flame & your son's hands.

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