White stag sighted on Hungary’s national day

The Enchanted stag was a mythical animal of the pagan Magyar tribes.

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner

Nature photographer Dávid Keller photographed a white fallow deer on Friday, Aug. 20, Hungary’s national day. While white deer are not unheard of in Hungary, they are fairly rare. These animals are not albinos – as they do not have red eyes denoting a lack of pigmentation – but rather a rare color variety.

What makes the photo interesting is the central role the so-called “Enchanted stag” plays in pagan Hungarian mythology. First mentioned in the 12th century Gesta Hungarorum (Deeds of the Hungarians) chronicle, according to legend, a white deer led the forefathers of the Hungarians, Hunor and Magor, from Central Asia to the Carpathian basin in Europe.

The white stag is a recurring mythological animal in Central Asia, from Mongolia through Kazakhstan to Turkey, believed to carry the souls of the ancestors and leading the peoples in difficult times.

A Scythian deer clothing ornament in gold from cca. 400 BC.

“I captured an image of these magnificent animals shortly before sunset. I hope I will witness more such marvelous moments in the future,” nature photographer Dávid Keller said.

The fallow deer, native to Turkey, can be found all over central and Southern Europe, mostly in wooded meadows.

Title image: A white stag photographed in the northern Hungarian Pilis mountains on August 20, the country’s national day. (Dávid Keller)

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