“Вилино коло – Vilje Kolo – Fairy Ring”
Вилино коло – Vilje Kolo, or “Fairy Ring” – is a common toponym. Places with this name were associated with legends that said that fairies used to play there. A fairy ring is a circle or semicircle of grass that differs from the surrounding grass (it is more lush or stunted, a different color). It is often found in a clearing, on top of a hill, or near a spring. It could be marked by a circle of mushrooms in a meadow (a fairy tale). If there was an elevation within this circle, it was said that a bagpiper or some other player was standing on it, while the fairies danced around it. Other similar toponyms indicate the same belief (Vilina Voda, Vilina izvor).
There was a fear of illness and death among the people who would step on the fairy ring. A man who stumbled upon a fairy’s playground (or dinner, found a fairy bathing or enjoying some other kind of pleasure) would be severely punished. The severity of this offense is so serious because fairy rites are mysterious, prohibit the presence of the uninitiated and take place in taboo places. In the legend about the fairy ring, the practice of initiation rites is reflected. A girl is considered a girl from the day she first enters the circle and goes through this important rite of passage. The offender was punished by deprivation of sight or hearing, paralysis, or death.
Forgiveness of sins and healing could only be given to him by the fairy. The trampling of the fairy’s playground and the outcome of this transgression are sung by the Sibinian folk song Janko s vila. For fairies and other demons, the game has a very reasonable strength. Fairies get angry if someone interrupts them in a game uninvited, while, on the other hand, their favorite pastime is to bring someone into the circle and “outplay” them. They would transfer part of their supernatural power to the grass they were playing on, so it became “dangerous” or “miraculous”.