10 May 2017

About the Domovoi

he Domovoi is the symbol of the Zolotaya Podkova (Golden Luck), one of the most popular Russian lotteries. This little old man, with a beard that flows to the floor, can be found on every Zolotaya Podkova ticket with his bast shoes and a traditional Russian hat with earflaps. The choice of this mascot was no accident. Since the dawn of Slavic society, people have believed that every home has its resident helper, someone to protect against dangers and help out each family in times of trouble. Fans of the Zolotaya Podkova are typically people who are striving to build the best homes for their families.

There are dozens of legends circulating around the Domovoi — and many of them contradict each other. Some are concerned that a Domovoi brings nothing but trouble to the home, others insist that he is a kind-hearted helpmate. We did a little research and came up with a few interesting facts about who the Domovoi really is.

he image of the Domovoi can be found on Zolotaya Podkova lottery tickets.

Who is that Domovoi?

For speakers of Slavic languages, the name «Domovoi» makes it easy to guess that this character is someone who helps to guard the home. And indeed, in Slavic mythology, mentions of this house spirit who protects the home from harm date back to the 15th century. Once it was believed that the helpful sprite was the spirit of long-dead ancestors; today, most people believe that the spirit, related to the water and wood spirits, chooses his own masters before moving into their home and helping to make their lives better.


How do you know when you have a Domovoi at home?

There are a few reliable signs that your home has got its own Domovoi. If you often hear strange noises, unexplained sounds and creaking doors then there can be little doubt — you’ve been visited by a welcome guest. There’s no reason to be afraid, nor to try and chase him away. If you let him make himself at home, the Domovoi will repay your kindness.
If you have pets at home, your animals’ behaviour can help you confirm whether you also have a Domovoi. It’s no secret that cats and dogs see and perceive far more than people — so pay attention to how they act. Maybe they spend a long time looking carefully at one place — often a corner, or the ceiling — or suddenly get startled by something. It all suggests that your pet has seen a Domovoi.

If you have pets, their behaviour might give you a clue about a Domovoi in your home. Photo from

We’ve all been there. Something in your hands just a moment ago is gone, and can’t be seen anywhere. After turning the house upside down, it turns up, ‘hiding in plain sight’ in a prominent place. Typically, we blame our own absent-mindedness, but this little mystery is another sure sign of a Domovoi. These little chaps have a playful sense of humour and will happily invent simple games when they get bored.

How to take care of your Domovoi

Broadly speaking, a Domovoi is a wise, good-natured individual who wishes no evil on others. However, things are not always straightforward: they can be complex characters and if something happens that they don’t like, they are quick to try to teach a lesson to those responsible. To avoid the righteous anger of a Domovoi, follow a few simple rules.

A Domovoi can be a complex character. Photo from

The first thing is to keep the place neat and tidy. A Domovoi loves good order. Things scattered over the floor, unwashed dishes and piles of dust are a sure-fire way to get your Domovoi in a bad mood.

They’re not keen on lazybones, either. If all you want to do when you get home is lie on the couch and watch TV or spend hours staring at the computer screen, then your Domovoi is likely to try and get you up and active. Maybe you’ll suddenly need to change a lightbulb, or unblock the sink. These are typical pranks of a Domovoi who wants to see his home humming with gainful activity.

Domovoi Day

Not everyone knows that even a Domovoi has his day in the sun. It falls on February 10, and is called Kudesy, or the Day of Domovoi Food. On this day it was traditional to celebrate, singing and dancing in the hut to entertain the Domovoi. Then, before going to sleep, it was essential to leave a feast for the guardian angel of the home — porridge, pancakes and pies. Throwing a good party for your Domovoi ensured that he would do his best to please his owners in the coming year.

Every Domovoi loves tasty food. Photo from

The Domovoi in popular culture

The Domovoi features in many tales and stories, but for most residents of the former USSR the embodiment of the household genie is the cartoon Domovoi known as Kuzya. In the 1980s he was the star of a series of a popular TV that drew a huge audience among children and adults alike. Several of his catchphrases became a part of everyday speech.

In the end, it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not to believe in the existence of a Domovoi. But it’s nice to think that our homes are watched over by a kindly spirit who keeps us safe from harm. And, just maybe, he might give you the chance of a better life. For example, your Domovoi could help you win a new apartment or country house in our Zhilishchnaya Lotereya (Housing lottery). Don’t worry — your Domovoi will be happy to move with you to your new home!

Preview photo from

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