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Traditional costume – Orle

Traditional costume

The traditional costume of Posavina was woven on a hand-loom, and is predominantly red and white. The typical women’s costume includes a blouse called an opleće, an apron known as a zaslon and a rubača, a long dress which covers both the upper and the lower body.

Women also wear foot-cloths and the soft-soled footwear typically found in Posavina. Unmarried girls and brides also wear two kinds of caps, the poculica and the halbica.

The men wear trousers, a vest called a lajbek, a shirt, a pair of soft-soled shoes or boots, and a hat known as a škrlak. The men’s costume is mainly black and white.

Old customs

Christmas. Badnjak, the day before Christmas, was a day of fasting in Posavina: only prunes, pears and other fast-day food were served. Roasts, rich pies and sweet bread were baked in wood-stoves for the Christmas celebrations. On Christmas Eve, the head of the household would bring hay into the house, and then a loaf of sweet bread and a candle. All members of the family would then kneel around the hay and pray. The mistress of the house would pull a single straw from the hay and make a wish that her hemp would grow this tall. She would then draw another straw, to show how tall she wished her flax to grow. Only then could the children play in the hay and toss it around the house, waiting with great excitement for the moment when they would start trimming the tree with apples, nuts, gingerbread and other decorations.

On Christmas Eve, corn and wheat were laid on the dinner table in the form of a cross, with a few coins thrown in as a symbol of fertility and the wealth of the land. A special tablecloth was laid on top, where it remained until St John’s Day, when the hay was removed from the house and used to cover fruit trees in the orchard. After dinner on Christmas Eve, the family went to the watch-night mass dressed in national costumes. Young men carried Christmas apples, božićnice, to give to girls in the church.

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