cinema of czechoslovakia


The burning of Morena in the Slovak movie Rok na Dedine, 1967

Morena, also called Marzanna and Morana, is a straw-made effigy and the main character in a series of rituals practiced by West Slavs, namely Slovaks and Poles, at the end of winter. She is considered the incarnation of the pre-Christian Slavic goddess of winter and death going by the same name. It is believed that the goddess Morena was considered a death-rebirth deity by the Slavs, associated with various myths but almost always linked to Jarilo; her husband hailed as the god of vegetation, fertility, and spring, and who as well was seen as a death-rebirth deity. The sacrificial death of Morena brought upon the resurrection of Jarilo, which is why to this day West Slavic people burn and drown an effigy of Morena in hopes of ending a harsh winter and introducing a bountiful and fruitful spring.