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Dodola (also spelled Doda, Dudulya and Didilya, pronounced: doh-doh-la, doo-doo-lya, or dee-dee-lya) also known under the names Paparuda, Perperuna or Preperuša is a pagan tradition found in the Balkans. A girl, wearing a skirt made of fresh green knitted vines and small branches, sings and dances through the streets of the village, stopping at every house, where the hosts sprinkle water on her. She is accompanied by the people of the village who dance and shout on the music. The custom has attributed a specific type of dance and a specific melody.
According to some interpretations, Dodola is a Slavic goddess of rain, and the wife of the supreme god Perun (who is the god of thunder). Slavs believed that when Dodola milks her heavenly cows, the clouds, it rains on earth. Each spring Dodola is said to fly over woods and fields, and spread vernal greenery, decorating the trees with blossoms.
The custom is known by the names Dodola (dodole, dudula, dudulica, dodolă) and Perperuna (peperuda, peperuna, peperona, perperuna, prporuša, preporuša, paparudă, pirpirună). Both names are used by the South Slavs, Romanians, Albanians and northern Greeks. Albanians also use the name Rona and the masculine name Dordolec (durdulec).
The name Perperuna is identified as a feminine personification of the great god Perun. Sorin Paliga suggested that it was a divinity from the local Thracian substratum. The name of Dodola is possibly cognate with the Lithuanian word for thunder: dundulis.
D. Decev compared the word "dodola" (also dudula, dudulica, etc.) with Thracian anthroponyms (personal names) and toponyms (place names), such as Doidalsos, Doidalses, Dydalsos, Dudis, Doudoupes, etc. Paliga argued that based on this, the custom most likely originated from the Thracians.
A much more likely explanation for the variations of the name Didilya is that this is a title for the spring goddess Lada/Lela that got turned into the "name" of a goddess. Ralston explains that dido, means “great” and is usually used in conjunction with the spring god Lado.
The first written description of the custom was left by the Bulgarian hieromonk Spiridon Gabrovski in 1792. He tells how in times of drought young boys and girls would dress one of themselves in a net and a wreath of leaves in the like of Perun or Peperud, who Spiridon mistakenly believed to be an old Bulgarian ruler. Then they would go around houses singing, dancing and pouring water over themselves. Villagers would give them money, which they later used to buy food and drink to celebrate in Perun’s honor.
South Slavs used to organise the Dodole (or Perperuna) festival in times of drought, where they worshipped the goddess and prayed to her for rain. In the ritual, young women sing specific songs to Dodola, accompanying it by a dance, while covered in leaves and small branches. In Croatia Dodole is often performed by folklore groups.
In folklore of Turopolje on the holidays of St. Juraj called Jurjevo five most beautiful maidens are picked to portray Dodola goddesses in leaf-dresses and sing for the village till the end of the holiday.
Serbian ritual chant sung by youngsters going through the village in the dry, summer months.
Naša dodo Boga moli,
Da orosi sitna kiša,
Oj, dodo, oj dodole!
Mi idemo preko sela,
A kišica preko polja,
Oj, dodo, oj, dodole!
Dodole in Macedonia
^ "ој љуле, ој!" is repeated in every verse
^ "oj ljule, oj!" is repeated in every verse
The Dodole rituals in Macedonia were active held until the 1960s.
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- Radosavljevich, Paul Rankov (1919). Who are the Slavs?: A Contribution to Race Psychology. Original from the University of Michigan: The Gorham Press. p. 19.
- Sorin Paliga: "Influenţe romane și preromane în limbile slave de sud" .pdf Archived December 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- D. Decev, Die thrakischen Sprachreste, Wien: R.M. Rohrer, 1957, pp. 144, 151
- Ralston. The Songs of the Russian People. p. 28
- Габровски, Спиридон Иеросхимонах (1900). История во кратце о болгарском народе славенском. Сочинися и исписа в лето 1792. София: изд. Св. Синод на Българската Църква. p. 14.
- Miladinovci (1962). Зборник (PDF). Skopje: Kočo Racin. p. 462. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-16.
- Veličkovska, Rodna (2009). Музичките дијалекти во македонското традиционално народно пеење : обредно пеење [Musical dialects in the Macedonian traditional folk singing : ritual singing] (in Macedonian). Skopje: Institute of folklore "Marko Cepenkov". p. 45.
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