Lado is an archaic Slavic word, a synonym for words meaning good, lovable, and dear.
According to the website of LADO, the Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia, it was frequently used as a refrain in old ceremonial songs of north-western Croatia. LADO (the ensemble) was founded in 1949 in Zagreb. Its objective is to research, collect, artistically interpret and present on stage the most beautiful examples of the rich traditions of Croatian music and dance.
I was very happy to find this group and learn that they are carrying on the beautiful musical heritage of my ancestors.
The above is a photo of Ferencz Ujlaki, my great-grandfather, along with his own musical ensemble back in the old country. (He's the fellow circled in the right middle.) His partner, although I don't believe she is related, seems to resemble his future wife Ilona. Coincidence or cousins?
Like the costumes? Check out the LADO website for more beautiful costumes from this region. The musical ensemble has more than 1,000 in its collection.