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Fragments of old mythological beliefs and pagan festivals survive up to this day in folk customs, songs, stories and folk-tales of all the Slavic nations.

There are currently no known written accounts of Slavic mythology predating the fragmentation of the Proto-Slavic people into West, East, and South Slavs, with the possible exception of a short note in Herodotus’s Histories, mentioning the tribes of Budini and Neuri in the far north, whose men supposedly transform themselves into wolves for several days each year.

Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." Even though the quote comes from an Eastern Orthodox bishop, many Western Fundamentalist groups seized upon it in the late 19th century because it fit their anti-Catholic narrative.

The only problem here is that the good bishop, as wise as he may have been on many other issues, was just plain wrong about this one.

Therefore, all their original religious beliefs and traditions were likely passed down orally over the generations, and basically forgotten over the centuries following their rapid conversion into Christianity (which began with the conversion of Bulgaria in 864 and was largely complete by the late 11th century.) Before that, sparse records of Slavic religion were mostly written by non-Slavic Christian missionaries.

Archaeological remains of old Slavic cult images and shrines have been found, though little can be yielded from them without legitimate knowledge of their contexts, other than confirming existing historical records.

But this was not the birthday of Christ, nor was it even the birth of Christ.

Matthew said, “Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matthew ).

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It is amazing to note that when Israel's religious elite cried, "Woe to us, for the scepter has been removed and the Messiah has not come! However, the message of Christmas is true, and the implications of Jesus' historical birth in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago are enormous for all of us.

The identification of "Neuri" with Proto-Slavs remains controversial, however.

The first authoritative reference to the Slavs and their mythology in written history was made by the 6th century Byzantine historian Procopius, whose Bellum Gothicum described the beliefs of a South Slavic tribe that crossed the Danube heading south in just two days.

Although Herodotus is himself not convinced by this rumour, he stresses that he has heard some swear it.

Some researchers have interpreted this through the Slavic folk belief in werewolves, while others believe that Herodotus actually referred to ancient Slavic carnival festivals, when groups of young men roamed the villages in masks, sometimes referred to as vucari (wolf-humans).




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