Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bell towers against thunderstorms

In the villages around the Tatra Mountains, mainly in the Orava region, we can meet narrow wooden towers – those are the bell towers protecting from the thunderstorms. It was believed that when the storm was approaching the village someone had to run up to the bell tower and ring the bell. The sound of the bell had the power to scare away the demons of the storm. 

Who were the demons? They were called ‘Planetniki’ and had a power to rule clouds, thunders, rain and hail. It was believed that the souls of the suicide or sudden dead could become those demons. Also young men kidnapped by a rainbow were becoming rulers of the storms.

 The only way to scare them away was to ring the bell. But not an ordinary bell. The bell had to be consecrated nine times and could not be used during funerals. Was this working – who knows? The fact is that there are still standing many old bell towers against thunderstorms…


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