Lady Midday

Lady Midday

Pscipolnitsa is a character of myth and tradition, common to much of Eastern Europe.

Referred to as Południca in Polish, Полудница (Poludnica) in Serbian, Polednice in Czech, Poludnica in Slovak, Полудница (Poludnitsa) in Bulgarian, and Полудница (Poludnitsa) in Russian, she is a noon demon in Slavic mythology. She can be referred to in English as "Lady Midday". She was usually pictured as a young woman dressed in white that roamed field bounds. She assailed folk working at noon causing heatstrokes and aches in the neck. Sometimes she even caused madness.

Pscipolnitsa, who makes herself more evident in the middle of hot summer days, takes the form of whirling dust clouds and carries a scythe or shears. She will stop people in the field to ask them difficult questions or engage them in conversation. If anyone fails to answer a question or tries to change the subject, she will cut off their head or strike them with illness. She may appear as an old hag or beautiful woman, or a 12-year-old girl; and she was useful in scaring children away from valuable crops. She is only seen on the hottest part of the day and is a personification of a sun-stroke. [citation|title=The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons |author= Manfred Lurker|year=2004|id=ISBN 0415340187 |url=]

In Wendish mythology, Přezpołdnica (in Lower Sorbian, Připołdnica in Upper Sorbian) is known as "Mittagsfrau" ("Lady Midday") among German speakers of Eastern Germany’s Lusatia (Sorbian "Łužica", German "Lausitz") and in the now only German-speaking parts of what used to be the larger region of Old Lusatia, whose capital used to be Zhorjelc (German "Görlitz", Polish "Zgorzelec"). Farther north and west in formerly predominantly Slavic-speaking areas of Germany, especially in the state of Brandenburg (Low Saxon "Branneborg", Sorbian "Braniborska"), a related mythological spirit appears to be the "Roggenmuhme" (“lady of the rye”) that makes children disappear when they search for flowers in among the tall grain plants on hot summer days. In the Altmark, it is the "Regenmöhme" “with her heat” that will abduct ill-behaved children, and in the formerly Polabian-speaking heath region around Lunenburg (German Lüneburg) in Lower Saxony), the Low Saxon (“Low German”) name of this bugbear is "Kornwief" (formerly spelled "Kornwyf", meaning “woman of the corn” or “lady of the grain plants”).


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