Morana or Morena is a Slavic goddess associated with death, winter and nightmares. The tradition of burning or drowning an dummy of Morana to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This ritual represents the end of the dark days of winter, the victory over death, and the welcoming of the spring rebirth.
Her arrival was therefore always expected with fear and her departure was celebrated with a lot of noise and cheer. Her complete opposite was goddess Vesna, whom the people used to welcome with festivals and jubilation, at the same time joyfully witnessing the departure of Morana – the winter.
In some aspects she is also associated with Mora a female demon that caused nightmares. She would enter the homes of people at night and torment them, especially children, pressing their chest and taking their breath away, which weakened them spiritually and psychically.
Morana was described as a woman of dark hair and a terrifying appearance or as an ugly old witch “Baba Marta” (grandmother march).
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