Wednesday’s Woman


A book I recently read, James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen, contains many references to deities from various cultures, some real and some apparently original with Cabell. One figure who interested me was Sereda, the personification of Wednesday, who restores Jurgen’s youth and later returns his old age. This page of notes indicates that Mother Wednesday is a genuine figure in Russian folklore, with Sereda (literally “the middle”) being the Russian name for Wednesday. I tried to find information on this character online, but very little was forthcoming. What I did find was this fairy tale, presenting Mother Wednesday as someone to fear. She shows up at a woman’s home to do the chores the woman did not finish on Tuesday, but comes across as dreadful rather than helpful. With help from her neighbor, the woman manages to drive Wednesday away. She wears a white towel on her head, which might have something to do with how one of the traditional tasks for a Wednesday was bleaching. The page also mentions that other days of the week are sometimes personified as characters in Russian folk tales. It’s certainly an intriguing idea, but it doesn’t look like the Internet has much information on it, unless I’m using the wrong search terms.

This entry was posted in Fairy Tales, Mythology, Russian, Slavic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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