Lada

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Czech/Polish/Croatian
Meaning: unknown.
(LAH-dah)

Lada or Lado is the name given to a folkloric Polish/Czech goddess of merriment, youth, love and beauty. During Slavic Revivalism, she was a sort of invention, a direct response to the Greco-Roman goddess Venus/Aphrodite. In reality, Lada never existed in the true pre-Christian Slavic pantheon. Often regarded as Slavic Fakelore, during the Renaissance when the rest of Europe was exploring its ancient mythologies for artistic inspiration, many Slavic writers, such as the Polish Jan Dlugosz and the Czech historian Cosmas of Prague tried to do the same, but with one obstacle: Slavic Mythology hadn’t been as well recorded as Greco-Roman. With a lack of such poets as Virgils and Ovids, Dlugosz and Cosmas had no other resort but to make up romanticised gods out of thin air. Mostly inspired by Greco-Roman myths, they came up with the idea that the ancients Slavs worshipped Mars and Jupiter. Lado and Lada were terms often heard in Polish, Croatian and Czech folk songs that retained pre-Christian elements. It was assumed by Dlugosz that Lado must have been a god, possibly Cupid or Mars and its feminine sounding element Lada must be Aphrodite or Venus. However, later historians were unable to associato “lado” or even “lada” with any sort of god. All that is known is that its a term or refrain that appears quite a bit in midsummer folk songs. One theory is that “lado” or “lada” is merely an explanation, somewhat an equivalent of “hey, hey hey” or “Ooo yeah” in many modern pop and rock songs we hear today. These expressions really have no meaning other than to add rhythm to the song being sung. In any case, Lada caught on as a popular female name, especially in the Czech Republic. It is also the name of a Russian car, no doubt, named for the fictional Slavic goddess. Its name day is Aug 7.

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