RAKI IN BALKAN MAGICAL RITUALS
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The authoress describes and analyzes the practices connected with raki on the basis of the data from Balkan folk culture, especially the data collected by herself in the Republic of Macedonia between 2000 and 2004. Following Anna Engelking, she distinguishes the rituals of creation ('a person wants something to happen'), the rituals of protection ('a person does not want something to happen') and the rituals of undoing ('a person wants something to un-happen'). The rituals of creation with the use of raki are performed in the Balkans on the day of St. Tryphon (Feb. 14) and are meant to bring about a good harvest of the vine, e.g. by pouring raki or burying a bottle with the drink under the vine's shoots. An example of the rituals of protection is e.g. drinking raki on the grave of the deceased in order to protect the living from the dead. In wedding celebrations the red raki is supposed to bring fertility to the newlyweds, whereas the sweet raki is meant to bring them success and luck (a sweet life). Like wine, raki is symbolically connected with the blood of Christ, for in a metonymic fashion it absorbs a part of the sacral symbolism of wine.
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