The Image and the Names of the Young God in the Bulgarian Christmas Song and Ritual Cycle (Reconstruction and Analysis of the Myth) Cover Image
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Образът и имената на Младия бог в българския коледен песенен и обреден цикъл (Реконструкция и анализ на мита)
The Image and the Names of the Young God in the Bulgarian Christmas Song and Ritual Cycle (Reconstruction and Analysis of the Myth)

Author(s): Borislav Popov
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The mythological personage, embodied in the image of the newborn god, is known in the Bulgarian Christmas song and ritual cycle by the names of Mlada boga, Bela boga, Bozhich, Bozhik, etc., which become the object of linguistic analysis in the article. The author starts with a reconstruction of the myth within the frames of the solar cult, following the pattern sun - deer - young (white) god. He comes to the conclusion that as a result of the influence of different archaic cultures, the image of the Young god has become the crossing point of the myths of the new sun, being born and the dying and reviving agrarian deity. This aspect of the image reflects the eschatological plot cycle birth - death (disappearance) - new birth (return). On ritual level the newborn god is genetically and structurally connected to the badnik, which is a bearer of multifaceted archetypal images and its setting on fire is the culmination point of the pre-Christmas rituals, a symbolic border in the plan of cosmology. In this transition the oppositions chthonic - solar, darkness - light, chaos - order, old - new, old- young, father - son, sky - sun, death - birth are realized on symbolic level, presenting the features of two antagonistic mythological personages. The analysis shows that in popular mythological consciousness the image of the Young god contaminates with the image of the infant Jesus, who seems to be the last link, built in the structure of the Christmas rituals and the Christmas folklore. In this way it functions as a unifier of ancient pre-Christian beliefs of different ethnic origin and plays a new role, making it possible for Christian theological concepts to be accepted by means of rituals and ideas, pagan in their essence.

  • Issue Year: XXX/2004
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 007-033
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Bulgarian