A special place in family relations is taken by a person who is not a blood relative to anyone – a godfather. Godfather is a protector of a family and such a relation is a spiritual one. This custom is common to all the Slavs and comes from the pre-Christian times. A godfather used to be, say, a middleman between a family and the ancestors, and through Church such a relation was affirmed in the relationship between Christ and John the Baptist, his godfather. I beg you in God’s name and the name of St John (Kumim te Bogom i svetim Jovanom) – people used to say, asking someone to be their godfather. Being a godfather one does not refuse. Once, there was one godfather for the whole clan, but today, each family has its own godfather.There should be one godfather at all the significant events – at a wedding and at baptism, at christening a child. The godfather, like a father, ensures the spiritual path of his godchildren. The institution of a godfather is hereditary and goes down through generations, but sometimes, if it does not work out, it can be broken. A godfather can never be a neighbour – one can quarrel with a neighbour and the institution is a sacred one. The godfather, and then God – people used to say in some parts of the country, while other could be more moderate – what God is in the Heaven, the godfather is on earth. A godfather is loved and cherished. One takes off a hat before one’s godfather, goes to one’s knees, kisses the ground, kisses his chest, a toast is proposed to the godfather on the patron saint’s day. No marriage is arranged with the godfather’s family, since the relation is already there – all members of a godfather’s family are also godfathers/godmothers.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
In Serbs, the Milky Way galaxy is called the Godfather’s Straw.