No. XXI (1990)


Vojin Matić
Psychologist, Belgrade

Published 01.12.1990


  • loan-words,
  • kračun (krachun),
  • Winter Solstice,
  • Slavic loan-words,
  • pre-Christian traditions

How to Cite

Matić, V. (1990). Крачун. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (XXI), 303–305. Retrieved from


Kračun is a Slavic word meaning deity, the day of the winter solstice celebrated as a holiday, a cake eaten on that occasion, or a name. It appears in the form of several solvent metatheses as kerečun, karačum etc. In Bulgarian it is to be found in diminutive form as kračunec, the Romanians have taken this term to mean Christmas, like the Hungarians already have through the metathetic form of Karácsony, which again is similar to the Slovakian use of the word. The Bulgarians also use this word to mean the cattle and horse breeding holiday which does not correspond to the calendar date of St Demetrius' Day to which the Easter fast is tied, therefore it is a lunar holiday just like Easter. It is also called veliki den (great day = good (fri)day), important for horses just like the day of the resurrection of Jesus is for people. On that day horses are not harnessed, a special kind of cake is baked for them, and they are honored in the same way the cattle was the day before.


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