Poludnitsa is a Slavic goddess of the day, and sister of Kupalnitsa, goddess of the night. In some stories, she is one of many minor female spirits of the sun known as "Noonwraiths."
Myths & Legends
Poludnitsa will appear at noon in agricultural fields during the hottest part of the day in summer months. She harasses those at work in the fields (as it was customary to rest during that time instead) by posing them riddles or asking them difficult questions. If an insufficent answer is given she will cause the person to be stricken with heatstroke, or even cut off their head with her shears/scythe.
She is not necessarily evil, and was sometimes seen as a protector of the earth and fields, as well as of customs. Those who did not respect customs were considered those who did not respect the gods.
She was also used in stories to scare children away from crops, as it was told that she would abduct children lost among the tall grain.
She is usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a white dress, often wielding a scythe/shears and travels in a cloud of swirling dust. Occaisionally she is depicted as an old woman or young girl.
Male Variant - Polevoy
A Polevoy is a male spirit of noonday and fertility. They are a counterpart to the "Noonwraiths," and are seldom ever seen. They are supposedly described as a man black as the earth with grass instead of hair growing out of his head, and sometimes dressed in white.