Veles is one of major Slavic god associated with cattle, commerce, underworld and magic. Opponent of thunder-god Perun he is also the God of Druids, the God of secret and the Keeper of the passageway from the world of Yav middle world where we live to the Prav or righteous higher world of Spirits and Nav the lower world.
In ancient times on February 12 women had a procession, to chase away “Cow bane”. After the procession they used to have the ritual fight of Veles and Marena. With everyone cheering him on, a masker dressed as Veles in a bull’s hide and with a spear. Beef is not eaten at the feast.
VelesPeople honor Veles, who lead them through the winter hardships. On this day Veles broke the horns off Winter, protects the cattle, chases away the illnesses, and gives people strength to live through the approaching Frosts.
Orthodox Russians change Veles with St. Vlas (Blasius), who became the patron saint of livestock. On the saint’s name day (February 12), cattle were treated to special feed. Name of Veles appears in city of Veles in Macedonia, over which looms a hill of St. Elias the Thunderer(Perun).
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