The custom of preparing and burning lila torches for Petrovdan has been known for centuries in shepherd communities of Western Serbia. It is connected to the holiday Petrovdan, dedicated to St. Apostles Peter and Paul, celebrated on July 12th. Several days before Petrovdan, members of the community prepare lila torches from birch or cherry bark. The bark is peeled off trees in long strips, bent in circles similar to “windmill” shape and attached to the tip of hazel wood stick about 1 m long, which is then dried for several days. The central event of burning the torches takes place in the evening before Petrovdan, and it is accompanied by additional customs including picking flowers and making flower wreaths. As soon as sun sets, livestock is brought into their enclosures, followed by milking and decorating the animals with flower wreaths. Children and teens immediately light up the lila torches. They run around the livestock enclosures with these torches, singing: “Kuda lile hodile, tuda krave vodile.” (“Whenever lilas go, they will lead the cows after them.”) At the same time bonfires are lighted at crossroads, and accompanied with song, dance and jokes this type of gathering of local community grows into a folk celebration lasting long into the night.
Етнографска област или регион:
Western Serbia, in communities and settlements in municipalities of Šabac, Loznica, Valjevo, Sjenica, Nova Varoš and Ivanjica
Датум уписа на листу НКН:
Monday, December 25, 2017