Dazbog was one of the major gods of Slavic mythology, most likely a solar deity and possibly a cultural hero. He is one of several authentic Slavic gods, mentioned by a number of medieval manuscripts, and one of the few Slavic gods for which evidence of worship can be found in all Slavic nations.
Dazbog was a god of the Sun, flame and rain. Dazbog was also considered to be a giver-god, because one of his names was Dajbog. The first part of the name is “daj” – a form of the verb to give, while the second part “bog” means god. But what did Dazbog actually give? It is possible that giving refers the Sun and sunlight which is essential for many natural processes. The Sun was also very important to the Slavs. It was the source of life and was always considered to be a positive force. The Sun gave life to the Earth, and the god who gave it was therefore Dajbog. Dazbog actually stands for the Sun disc.
To a family he was a protector of the house’s fireplace and its fire, man’s basic necessity for survival during the winter, and an indispensable help in performing everyday work. But flames could be cruel and turn against men, and take them to the underworld or destroy their property. Flames’ benevolence was crucial to survival, and many rituals were therefore related to them.
Dazbog was definitely the god of rain, too. The rain was important because harvests depended upon it. In times of drought many rain invoking rituals were performed.
Slavs thought of themselves as Dazbog’s grandchildren, or his lineal descendants. Due to a short lifespan, it was uncommon in those times that grandchildren should meet their grandfather.
Upon conversion to Christianity demonic characteristics were attributed to Dazbog. He became the most powerful of the demons and the main opponent of the Christian God. This was possibly due to his appearance of a lame one-eyed old man, dressed in dark bear skin, dwelling in the underworld quite often. We can however opt for the possibility that this was due to the power of Dazbog’s cult that was to be eliminated at all costs. Dazbog’s characteristics were later in Christianity transferred to St Sava, who was also presented in folk tales as a shepherd followed by a wolf. St Sava is also a giver in those tales.