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The Ovinnik is the Slavic spirit of the threshing house.


The Ovinnik is prone to burning down the threshing houses by setting fire to the grain. To contain the threat of fire, a threshing house was built as far as possible from the main dwelling, so the ovinnik was also kept well away from the household. To persuade him not to start fires, peasants periodically offered him roosters and bliny.

Like other Slavic household spirits, the ovinnik could divine the future. On New Year's Eve, peasants would allow him to touch them in the dark; a warm touch indicated good fortune. A warm touch meant good luck and fortune, while a cold touch meant unhappiness.

See also