The previous customized nonetheless lives in Banat: Youngsters bounce over the hearth for “Lazarica”, and it’s believed that this act has IMPORTANT SYMBOLISM
The burning and skipping of “Lazarica” remained only in Banat. It was cheerful and homely in the home of the Zaric family in Kikinda, when the whole alley was roaring with children’s noise, while the fire lit up Njegoseva Street.
Uncle Radovan Zaric (84) remembers that both old and young gathered at the crossroads of the streets, the so-called “horns”. This day used to have a special charm, not only for the youngest.
– My heart is always full when I see that this old custom has remained to this day and that makes children happy. I learned from my parents and so it extended and passed from generation to generation. When I was a guy, lighting a “lazarica” was a special experience. I play the accordion, we play and sing, 30 boys and girls, mothers or grandmothers get together. It was different, we hung out more. If a guy “cast an eye” on a girl, he could have approached her for “Lazarica” and reached her more easily. We jumped over the fire, even if we lit up a little, to prove ourselves to the girls.
From the dry stalks of corn and branches, fires were lit and jumped over the alleys of Kikinda, Mokrin, Bashaid, Sajan, Idjoš, Ostojić, Sanad, Srpski Krstur …
-Men are in charge of preparing firewood, and women are in charge of everything else. For years, I knead bakery rolls, popcorn, serve drinks, and this day is a special charm for children. They are most happy – says Olgica Zaric (74).
GP Olgica Zaric
Before the fire starts, the children announce themselves with so-called “rattlesnakes”, ringing bells and hitting sherpas, thus hinting at the lighting of the “lazarica”.
– “Klepetuša” serves to drive away evil witches and ghosts from the house and to bring happiness and joy into the home during the year – explains Radovan’s and Olgica’s grandson Mane Mandić.
There is a widespread belief among the people that the one who manages to jump over the flame of “Lazarica” ”cleanses” himself from sins.
– This interesting custom has one more goal: to leave the homes after the winter “sleep” and gather before the holiday and sowing, and talk about current issues from everyday life – explains theologian Dusko Jancic.
The lighting of the “Lazarica” fire lost its popularity during the communist rule, but the older ones remember that a fire broke out in the alleys of Kikinda on the eve of Lazar’s Saturday in all social systems.
– Even in the time of communism, we looked through our fingers on this day – says Radovan Zaric.
GP Radovan Zaric
However, last year, due to the epidemic situation, there were no gatherings on the streets for “Lazarica”. Despite that, the custom that children are most happy about was held in some yards of the hosts, because, as the residents in the north of Banat say, the tradition must not be interrupted.
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