“БИЉАНИ ПЕТАК је испред Ђурђевдана. По веровању, многе биљке ноћу уочи овога дана стичу лековитост. Зато се биље почиње брати још у току ноћи. Убране биљке дају се стоци о Ђурђевдану и Спасовдану, а неке се суше и чувају за лек. У селу Дубокој, у пределу Звижду, на Биљани петак окупљао се народ пред сеоском пећином. Женскиње је доносило лековито пољско биље, а мушкарци су уносили у пећину дрва и ложили велику ватру. Пред пећином се обедовало, а у њој се проводио дан у општем весељу. “
“Herb Friday is the last Friday before St Georges day. People in Serbia believed that during the night before Herb Friday, the medicinal herbs acquire their medicinal properties. This is why people went out into meadows during that night to gather medicinal herbs which were then given to livestock on St Georges day to keep them healthy and fertile. Some of the herbs were also dried and kept for medicinal use for both animals and humans.
In the village of Duboko, in the Zvižd region, people gathered on the Herb Friday in front of a “village cave”. Women would bring medicinal herbs and men would bring wood. All that was placed inside the cave and a big fire was lit. While the fire was burning inside the cave, people had a feast in front of the cave, and would spend the rest of the day celebrating in front of the cave.”
This custom is the remnant of the belief in Mother Earth. Caves were seen as wombs of the Mother Earth, and lighting of the fire inside the cave symbolizes lighting of the reproductive fire. You know when we say that a girl is “hot”. That kind of fire. The fire that burns inside women which are ready to mate. Who are “in heat”… The villagers in Duboko (which by the way means “deep, dept”), were just helping Mother Earth in her “hotting up”, in her transformation from an old ugly cold hag Morana, the winter earth, into a young, pretty, hot chick, Vesna, the spring earth. As I said in my post about the flower girls, April is the month when Mother Earth, in her youthful incarnation of Vesna, is coming of age, is getting beautiful and “hot” again. She is opening all her flowers and is ready to mate. And her mate is Jarilo, the young hot sun, who arrives on the 6th of May, the first day of summer.