balkan folklore

Transylvania – Score a Kindle and Gift Card

Today we’re going Transylvania-themed in celebration of the huge event Barbara Vey is having today on her blog! I helped donate a Kindle and an Amazon Gift Certificate with seven other authors. For the chance to win the KINDLE and $50 Gift Certificate to Amazon, visit Barbara Vey’s blog at http://BeyondHerBook.com for more information!

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Since Barbara’s theme is Transylvania, I decided to share some Romanian folklore today.

A Zmeu is of Romanian folklore and mythology. It’s basically a slavic dragon with anthropomorphic features, namely its humanoid legs, arms, and ability to use and make possession such as weapons. His magical powers include the ability to shapeshift, fly, and spit fire. He has supernatural strength.

In Romanian mythology, the zmeu is seen as the embodiment of selfishness and greed. He typically steals something that’s very important, and Făt-Frumos, the Romanian version of “Prince Charming,” has to gain it back through his selfless bravery. Even though the zmeu has amazing abilities, it’s no match for Făt-Frumos.

In Moldavia, a zmeu is sometimes pictured as a vampire-like creature that takes the shape of a flame then goes in the room of a young girl or widow. Once inside, he becomes a man and seduces her.

Interesting Tidbits:

  • The name zmeu most likely comes from the Slavic word Zmey, which is a Slavic dragon with three heads. The plural form is zmei, and the feminine forms are zmeoaică and (fem. plural) zmeoaice.
  • Some English translations refer to a zmeu as a variation of an ogre or giant from western European mythologies. Like ogres, a zmeu kidnaps a maiden to be his wife in his otherworldly realm.
  • The word zmeu also refers to the kites that children fly. It’s also the word for dragon in German, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish English.

Z is for Zmeu

Woohoo! So, we’ve made it to the end of the A to Z Challenge. Who else is really excited about that? First of all, I’d like to say Thank You to everyone who has stopped by, commented, and followed my blog. You guys and gals have blown my mind! It’s been a phenomenal month getting to meet everyone.

And now onto today’s topic. A Zmeu is of Romanian folklore and mythology. It’s basically a slavic dragon with anthropomorphic features, namely its humanoid legs, arms, and ability to use and make possession such as weapons. His magical powers include the ability to shapeshift, fly, and spit fire. He has supernatural strength.

In Romanian mythology, the zmeu is seen as the embodiment of selfishness and greed. He typically steals something that’s very important, and Făt-Frumos, the Romanian version of “Prince Charming,” has to gain it back through his selfless bravery. Even though the zmeu has amazing abilities, it’s no match for Făt-Frumos.

In Moldavia, a zmeu is sometimes pictured as a vampire-like creature that takes the shape of a flame then goes in the room of a young girl or widow. Once inside, he becomes a man and seduces her.

Interesting Tidbits:

  • The name zmeu most likely comes from the Slavic word Zmey, which is a Slavic dragon with three heads. The plural form is zmei, and the feminine forms are zmeoaică and (fem. plural) zmeoaice.
  • Some English translations refer to a zmeu as a variation of an ogre or giant from western European mythologies. Like ogres, a zmeu kidnaps a maiden to be his wife in his otherworldly realm.
  • The word zmeu also refers to the kites that children fly. It’s also the word for dragon in German, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish English.
Have you heard of the Zmeu before? What do you think of them? Have you enjoyed the A to Z Challenge this month?

D is for Dhampir

Dhampirs are from Balkan (gypsy) folklore. They are born of a vampire father and a human mother. Dhampirs are dual-natured sort of like the Centaurs yesterday. They’re forced to walk between their undead side and their mortal side; although, they are more human than vampire. They possess vampiric powers without the weaknesses, but their physical and supernatural strength is less than that of a vampire due to being a half-breed. They tend to be unusually good at tracking and hunting vampires.

Additionally, vampires tend to target dhampirs since they’re viewed as a serious threat. After all, during the day a dhampir with knowledge of a vampire’s nest is likely able to wipe them all out with little effort. However, once night falls, the dhampirs would need to watch their backs to prevent being hunted in return.

But it’s not just vampires dhampirs have to worry about. Typically, they’re disliked and misunderstood by humans since they have vampiric lineage. Although, they were taken in by Gypsy communities and hired themselves out as vampire hunters.

One popular depiction is Rayne from the video games, movies, and comics BloodRayne. (FYI: I’ve seen the first two movies. I love the first one, but whew, the second one made my wonder why I threw away those 99 minutes of my life. But regardless of that, I’ll give the third movie a chance.)

You could say that Blade is a dhampir. While his mother was human, he gained his vampirism due to her being attacked while she was pregnant, not because his biological father engaged in intercourse with his mother. (Although, I think there are variations of this between the comics and movies. I only saw the movies.)

Interesting Tidbits:

  • The word dhampir comes from the Albanian language, “pij or pirё means ‘to drink,’ and dhёmbё or dham which means ‘teeth,’ thus dhampir, ‘to drink with teeth.'” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhampir)
  • According to Vukanovic’s “The Vampire,” some believed that dhampirs’ bodies were “slippery like jelly, and cannot live.” That belief coincides with one that vampires don’t have bones.
  • Dhampirs are fairly popular in fiction, movies, comics, and games. Here’s a list of some of those.
So, what are your thoughts on Dhampirs? Have you read, watched, or played something with one in it?