»Sušec« – (the dry one) got its name because in this month the earth is still dry and is preparing for spring.
Sušec is also the month in which the spring equinox is celebrated – this year it will be on the 20th. On this day, the night and day are of equal length, and after the equinox, the days begin to get longer. The arrival of spring was of special importance to our ancestors, in this month there are several holidays dedicated to spring, which are probably closely intertwined with each other. Our Slavic ancestors lit a bonfire on the equinox and welcomed the arrival of Jarilo.
Jarilo is Perun’s lost tenth son, whom Veles kidnaps and takes to his underworld, where he sets him up as a wolf shepherd until spring, when he returns from the underworld across the sea and brings with him the beging of spring time.
He is the god of fertility and the bringer of spring, he is also reborn every year. His name comes from the root “jar” which in the archaic language means fresh / new, and he was often pictured as half man half horse.
The Old Believers celebrate the arrival of Jarilo, who fertilizes the earth by the fire, where they exchange Easter eggs, which is a symbol of life and birth.
Jarilo’s arrival was also called »Jurjevanje«, which is a holiday we know well today, but again the stories and customs differ from place to place. The folk holiday is celebrated on April 24th or 25th, which may indicate that our ancestors celebrated and worshiped Jarilo for almost two months, or until his marrage, when he becomes Kresnik.
Another holiday in this month is connected with the arrival of spring – »Gregorijevo«, which today is celebrated on the 12th, but sometimes before the calendar changed it was celebrated on the 21st, that is, on the first day of spring and the day after the midsummer night and the equinox – the name Gregorijevo is a holiday named after Saint Gregory the Great, who, according to folk tradition, was supposed to bring light, welcome the sun and spring. This shows the subtle interweaving of pagan and Christian beliefs. It is a popular belief that on this day, girls looked especially carefully at the sky, because the first bird a girl saw was supposed to announce what her future husband would be like. It is a festival of light and love. It is customary on the eve before, so on the 11th, to lower “gregors” into the stream from a candle-lit boat, house or wooden plank.
Image on the T-shirt: A white horse with his mane made of Easter eggs. Behind the horse we see Jarilo’s face. A graphic symbol is drawn on the horse, which is the old slavic symbol for the god Jarilo. A bird nests in the horse’s tail, as a symbol of spring and the Gregorijevo feast.