January 1 – New Year (Novy Ryk)
In ancient Rome, the tradition of New Year's greetings begins, and the belief that the first day of the new year heralds a new beginning, which is firmly rooted in the culture of Western peoples, and Perth I was brought to our lands. The first New Year's Day the Romans considered very important, so began in it new great things. On the same day it was customary to congratulate each other and make gifts. First they gave vegetables and fruits pasted with gilding, dates and grapes, then – copper coins and even valuable gifts!
Only in 1918 on the lands of Ukraine the Gregorian calendar is introduced, and the New Year again begins to coincide with the European one. But the Orthodox Church refused to move to a new style, so all still church holidays and New Year continue to be celebrated according to the Julian calendar.
On Christmas Eve – January 6 – at dawn the owner and hostess ritually prepared God's food – kutyu and uzvar. To do this in a special way in the furnace lay firewood, which required to light a "living fire" (losing a tree on a tree, or flint), in a later tradition already used matches. For the cooth of the sun, the silent and urinary wheat was taken in advance, as well as the "unsicked" water collected before sunrise, which was believed to have been consecrated at night by the sun's god himself. This also concerned the whims, which were taken out of the oven "to the light", and in the oven planted kalach and lean pies. Knysh baked, kneading it like ordinary bread, and putting on top of a small bread, which was called the soul and which was intended for the spirits-Lada, that is, the souls of the deceased ancestors. Then the hostess cooked on the pre-dawn water in a new pot of lean cabbage and other dishes, which should have been twelve.
In Vilia, on the eve of the Holy Supper, it was not nice to go to visit or to another house, and did not lend anything. Everyone tried to be at home together and even travelers preferred to return home until that day. Beginning the Holy Evening, the master with prayer typed from a pot to a new makitra kutyu, added grated poppy and honey stya and put on the table (where the lit candle was burning, there was a knash and loaf). First of all, cattle and domestic animals were fed.
Then the eldest owner took a spoonful of kutyu and said a prayer for the deceased grandfathers and parents, inviting them to dinner. For them and the absent family members on the table specially put two glasses and plates (none of them ate, and there poured kutyu). In some areas, it is customary to toss a spoonful of a kutuy to the ceiling, ordering God to send a lot of offspring to the household. Then the owner offered a glass and said a prayer for the family members. For dinner, the glass queue bypassed all adult relatives, and the food was consumed from common bowls. If at a festive dinner a girl sneezes – it is a sign that she will marry, if the guy sneezes – a good Cossack will be. Previously, the father in this case gave the daughter a calf – fortunately, and the son – a foal. It was considered a good omen, if lonely, poor, unrepentant people came to the Holy Evening. They were generously received and treated.
After dinner, people began to sing carols, which from pre-Christian times were dedicated to the creation of the World, The Sun God, yield and the fertilization of domestic animals. They were guessing at the stalks, which were pulled from under the tablecloths on the table. Then parents gave children, guests and each other money and gifts, which symbolized the future wealth and wealth.
The windows of the dwellings sparkled all night, because the candles were not extinguished on the Holy Evening, they themselves had to burn completely. All conversations were conducted calmly, respectfully and they concerned the ancestors of the family and the farm. It was impossible to be angry, to quarrel, to say something bad, because it could have come true, because on that night evil spirits, witches and other unkind forces wandered under the windows and heard everything. In the morning before sunrise began to go boys-screws (girls to walk with greetings was not suitable) and "screwed." The Vinshuvalniks were very happy, because the owners were worried that the first person did not come female. Therefore, they gladly gave the children money and hotels (candy, apples, nuts, etc.).
On this day there was a great event for the entire Christian world – the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem (Jesus means "salvation" in Hebrew). All Christians are convinced that Jesus Christ was sent by God to earth to atone for the sins and salvation of mankind. The Old Testament prophets predicted the place and time of the birth of the Savior of the world – 5508 from the creation of the world. Thus, January 7 is the birthday of the Son of God on earth. From this day the countdown begins. According to the gospel, the mother of Jesus Christ Mary and her husband Joseph lived in Nazareth, and in Bethlehem came, fulfilling the order of the ruler of Augustus to appear throughout the population for the census.
Adult guys and girls went caroling separately. Guys walk with a "star" and a bell. "Star" is decorated with colored paper, ribbons, in the middle of the "star" is the image "The Birth of Christ" and a candle. The caroling vat consisted of five people: birch, stargazer, bell ringer, michonosh and a spare guy who should help the mihonosh. Usually they caroled in the house in front of the images, after which the guys were well rewarded, invited to the table as expensive guests, but they did not stay long, bowed to everyone who was in the house, and rushed to another house. Girls went caroling in the evening, so they had a lantern in the form of a month or a star. He was tied to a large stick and held high above his head, so that from afar it was visible girl's vatag. Girls usually did not go into the house, and sang in the street under the windows. They were awarded candy, nuts, sweets and money.
A very long Ukrainian folk tradition to put up on this day, to forgive each other offenses free and involuntary, to fully feel the joy of life. Young girls especially loved the Saints (Christmas Holidays) because these days they were guessing for marriage: "The Saints came. That's the joy! It bese windmill, which is not sorry, before which life far lies light, immense…"
Divination with a shoe. A shoe was removed from his left foot and thrown over the fence. Matchmakers had to wait from the side to which the sock pointed. If the shoe fell to his own fence, do not expect marriage this year.
Guessing with a rooster, chicken and a grille. The chicken and the rooster were tied by their paws and placed under the sieve. A fight was starting. And if the winner came out rooster, command in the house will be the spouse, if the chicken – to be the head of his wife.
Guessing on wax. In a large basin of water under the old songs poured molten wax. The figures that came out in the water, tried to guess the future.
January 12-13 – Celebration of Malanka and Wasil (Shchedry Vec-Friend Kutya)
Unlike the Holy Evening during the Lavish Dinner set a rich table, which is dominated by meat dishes. In some villages of the Vinnitsa region, even bloods, which are a traditional New Year dish, are called "Malanki." For the second time during the winter Saints are prepared kutyu. Special bread "Malanka" is also baked.
People believed that after such procedures the tree will be frightened and will certainly give a good harvest. After all, on Malanka, especially on New Year's Eve, plants understand human speech, and animals even speak humanly themselves. By the way, animals on this night could complain to God about the owners, if they do not treat them well. Therefore, on this day the cattle are cared for very carefully, well fed, cleaned, groomed.
The arrival of the men was a good sign, so they were usually willingly invited into the house. The generous-goers came home only after receiving permission from the owners. In the house, first performed great generosity for each member of the family, then sang songs about Malanka. Malanka at this time was spinning tods, dancing, movements imitated actions sung in a generous way, showing what a good hostess she was, did everything the other way around: sweeping the room from threshold to table, shoes put on the table, plates under the table, tried to help the hostess to whitewash the floor or wash the clay walls. The hosts tried to prevent her from "making order" and carefully watched that Malanka did not steal anything. It was also for her, because for the stolen thing she asked for an additional ransom or threatened to sell it in the next room, there they say, more will be given. Sometimes she was specially put some girlish thing that Malanka stole it – it foreshadowed the girl's imminent marriage.
Among the ceremonial actions taking place on New Year's Eve, we can call the competition of groups dressed melankara. They usually occurred at midnight at intersections or on bridges, or masonry through the stream. The competitions were both individual and collective. In individual fights, each vataga exhibited its own dressed representative. The usually dressed bears started the fight, sometimes their fights were enough to determine which horde won, and sometimes it came to the collective competition "wall" on the "wall" who will push whom. The losing team missed the winners ahead. The duel on the bridge, at the turn of two worlds separated by water, and even at midnight, could mark a duel with representatives from the other world, who are chasing Malanka, and the gift of the dressed – a bribe donation to the otherworldly forces for Malanka.
January 14 – Old New Year
The holiday of Basil is called the Old New Year and celebrate it on January 1 in the old style (January 14 on the new). This is one of the three Great Winter Holidays: Christmas, St. Basil's Day and Epiphany.
On January 14, the owners wake up early, before sunrise, remove straw from the floor, sweep in the house. From the Holy Evening to Basil, no one swept the floor, so as not to remove and not to endure happiness and fate from the house.
Straw from didukh is burned in the morning on New Year's Eve in the garden. People believe that smoke from diducha is very useful, it provides a good harvest for the next year, protects trees from frost, protects against pests. According to popular beliefs, this smoke protects not only trees, but also family members, so everyone from small to large jumped over the fire to be healthy and not to get sick the next year, children were carried through the smoke on their hands.
The action ended with water purification, in which all the dressed were involved. The Vatagi Malankai went to the river, where they washed together, sometimes poured water, splashed, and sometimes even resorted to bathing in the hole. Dressed in Malanka in any case could not avoid swimming, otherwise, according to Ukrainian old-timers of the village of Belyavintsy, the guy who performed this role could grow a tail.
On the first day of the New Year, they look closely at everything, because everything is important.
Standing in the church during the morning, the peasant looks at how the candles are lit in the panic: if the wick of a burning candle bent the hook – there will be a harvest this year, if the oppression sticks out on the candle, as if an empty ear on the stem – wait for a crop.
If the Night of the New Year is quiet and clear, it will be a happy year not only for people, but also for livestock.
If the sun rises cheerfully, the whole year will be happy, and especially good will be the harvest of berries.
If frost abundantly covers all the trees, there will be a harvest for bread.
Before sitting down at the dinner table, the father gives his son a cake and says, "Eat, son, and remember: if you happen to go astray in the winter, remember what you ate for the New Year pie – and find the way."
Depending on the character, people say, "I will go to church to be able to go to the temple of God for a year!" Or: "Drink vodka, so that the whole year was something to drink!"
"On New Year's Eve it is not suitable to drink one glass, and all two, so that the old couple lived, and the young couple found themselves" – so say at New Year's dinner, when guests are received.
If part of the sky is closed on New Year's Eve by clouds, in that side there will be a grain harvest – from there we must hope for happiness. Snow will fall on this day – a happy year will be.
After lunch, the girls run to the river to wash in the "Jordanian water" – "to have pink faces." In the areas above Dnipro there were once many beliefs and will accept related to "Jordan." Thus, when the procession went to the river, the "knowing" people looked closely: if sparrows fly before the burrows – an unhappy year for children, grachi – for young people, and as the geese fly, the old people of this year will be very sick, and even – God forbid, will die. If the trees on Epiphany are covered with frost, then in the spring on the appropriate day of the week – Friday, Thursday, etc. – it is necessary to sow spring wheat: "disfigures like a grove!" If the day on Epiphany is clear, sunny, then the bread in this year will be clean, and if gloomy, the sky is covered with clouds – in the bread there will be a lot of "head."
January 25 – Tatiana Day (Student's Day)
– the day of the martyrdom of St. Tatiana, who was born in The Third Century, who was subjected to torture and took a martyrdom during the persecution of Christians. Tatiana is revered as a saint in Catholic and Orthodox churches, as many miracles happened during her torment.
February 14 – Valentine's Day (Valentine's Day)
This holiday in Europe began to celebrate a few centuries ago, in Ukraine it came recently and became popular in the 90s. Saint Valentine is considered a symbol of all lovers, so this holiday is very beautiful and romantic. It is created for those who love, and those who are just getting ready to know this beautiful feeling.
According to the legend, the last days of Valentine's life were very touching, because before his death, he managed to heal a blind girl who was secretly in love with him. And just before his death, he sent her a letter, which signed "Your Valentine", which is where the tradition went, to give this holiday a card in the form of a heart "valentine."
There is also a belief that all who got engaged on this day will have a long and happy married life. As for statistics, those who want to connect their lives with marriage are three times more than other days.
February 15 – The Revelation of the Lord (Meeting)
This holiday is dedicated to the meeting, which happened on the fortieth day after Christmas. On this day, the baby Jesus was brought by Mary and Joseph to the Temple of Jerusalem to make a thank-you sacrifice to God according to the traditions of the time.
Symbolically, the holiday of The Revelation means cleansing of all filth and the meeting of winter with spring. Our ancestors on this holiday determined the beginning of planting, and the weather on this day judged what will be spring and summer. Many folk signs associated with the Festival of The Revelation are used up to our time.
On the day of the Meeting, it is customary to consecrate candles, and in prayers to mention that the Sreten candle will disperse the night darkness and ignorance of our souls. The Sreten candle is a symbol of the blessing of the soul and enlightenment. The meeting is a celebration not only of Simeon's meeting with Christ, which he has been waiting for all his life, but also of christ's meeting with humanity, which is always open as a true joy.
is an ancient Slavic holiday that has remained since the time of pagan culture and survived after the adoption of Christianity. In Ukraine, traditionally Maslenitsa is celebrated magnificently, eventfully. Every day of Carnival has its own meaning and every day there are certain events. All week is divided into two periods: Narrow Carnival and Broad Carnival.
Divination on Maslenitsa
After dark, the girls began pancake divination. Everyone had to go out with a pancake in his hands and, having the courage, ask the first man who came in what his name was. The groom will have the same name as a passerby, and beautiful (or ugly) he will be the same as this random passerby.
It was believed, if the beauty dreams that she eats pancake, then she is waiting for luck and success among the guys.
If he bakes it, the house will be well-being for a long time. You can also secretly put a frying pan under the bed for the night under the bed, on which pancakes were baked for the oil week, and say: "Dry-dressed, come to your mother-in-law for pancakes."
Who in a dream mother will be fed pancakes, he will be the groom of her daughter. Also on the first baked pancake on the oily week judged what awaits the family within a year until the next Carnival:
If the pancake is easily turned upside down- this year is supposed to be marriage.
• If the pancake stuck to the frying pan – another 3 years in the parents' house to sit.
• Smooth edges at the pancake – marriage will be happy.
• The edges are uneven, ragged – it is worth thinking about whether you are going to marry.
• If the pancake is burnt in the middle, the husband will be faithful. If the edges are burnt, the neighbors will look at.
• How many holes in pancakes – so many children on the benches.
• A good ruddy pancake – health will be strong, and pale – to diseases.
• Thin pancake – to easy life, and thick – to work.
February 22 – Farewell Sunday
Farewell Sunday is the last day of the Carnival and the last Sunday before Lent. Orthodox ask each other for forgiveness and enter the post with a pure soul and heart. This tradition came to us from Egyptian monks, who adopted it from the first Christians.
On this day Orthodox (mostly women) went to the cemetery, to the graves of relatives. We went in small groups, keeping silent, to ask the dead for forgiveness for past grievances. At each grave fought off 3 bows and put on the hill memorial treats. Married women, that day, until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, three times circled around the village, covering their heads with headscarves. Such a rite promised a good harvest of flax in the future. Newlyweds on Farewell Sunday were supposed to go around relatives and give them gifts (gingerbread, soap, etc.), and young parents went to godparents to give gifts in exchange for the tooth of a newborn and a risque. At the end of the church service, it was supposed to give alms, asking for forgiveness.
February 23 – The Beginning of Lent
After the end of Carnival, the most satisfying and fun week of the year, Greek Catholics and Orthodox, asking each other for forgiveness, begin preparations for Lent, to spend seven weeks before Easter in repentance and prayer, eating only lean food.
The first day of fasting in Ukraine was called Gilavi Monday. This day traditionally women began with the fact that baked fresh cakes on the water, zhizhniks. According to a long-held belief, these cakes gave the believers strength, made them more persistent. Especially devout people from Monday to Wednesday tried not to eat anything at all, except holy water. Others had breakfast, lunch and dinner with tenants, smearing them with horseradish for a change.
The first three Saturdays of Lent are called Parental. These days it is necessary to go to the service for the rest of the souls of the dead. In the temple take with them lean oil, bread, jam, cereals, dried fruits, which after the end of the memorial service are distributed to those in need.
March 8 – International Women's Day – give women flowers and love.
April 05 – Palm Sunday
The holiday is dedicated to the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem. People joyfully greeted Christ with songs and flowers, and also put their clothes and branches of a palm tree under his ass's feet, a plant symbolizing purity and infallibility. Catholics call this holiday – Palm Sunday.
If on Palm Sunday to remember your beloved man, he will come on this day.
Palm Sunday falls on Lent, so it is not necessary to arrange a stormy festivities, but this day, the harbinger of Easter, should be bright and joyful.
April 7 – Epiphany
April 12 – Easter (Holy Spring Great)
Signs for Easter
If the sun shines clearly at Easter, it will rain in three days. •
If it rains or snows at Easter, it will be harvest. •
If the owner sleeps at Easter, the wheat will be cut, and if the hostess – flax.
01-05 May – May holidays – all in nature, all on a kebab!
May 30-31 – Trinity
On trinity day, girls usually guess at the health and life expectancy of their relatives. Divination should take place as well as the wreaths were checked as well as it was preserved. Girls made a wish during the wreath, on whom it is howled, and therefore now you can clearly see the predictions of fate. Withered wreaths are thrown into the water and watch how they behave: if they drown – a very bad sign, and if it floats – all will be well.
The Church begins the celebration of the Day of the Holy Spirit, as a rule, with an evening service on the day of the Trinity. At this service, the pleading prayers of Basil the Great are read with kneeling, in which we confess our sins before the Father of Heaven and, for the sake of his Son's great sacrifice, we pray for clemency; we also ask the Lord Jesus Christ to give us the Divine Spirit, to enlighten and strengthen our souls, and finally pray for our dead fathers and brothers to rest them in a place of light, blooming, and calm.
Birch on Trinity played the same ritual role as the Christmas tree. Birch was not only carried into the house, but also decorated with ribbons on forest glades, around it circling dances. The holiday of Trinity without birch can be compared only with the New Year without a Christmas tree. It was believed that birch has a special power, it is the first among other trees dissolves leaves and buds, has a strong energy of growth, which is able to endow and man. Birch was a symbol of slenderness, long girl's braids, the embodiment of the red maiden, and Trinity has long been considered a maiden holiday, a holiday of pagan golden Lada – the goddess of spring.
July 07 – Ivana Kupala
Historically, this day was the day of the summer solstice (the solstice – June 20-22), subsequently coincided with the Christmas of John the Baptist and the Christian holiday of the Christmas of the Holy Prophet of the Forerunner.
In the Ukrainian folk tradition, the birthday of John (Ivan Kupala, Ivan the Herbalist) is a poetic pagan celebration of sunshine and warmth. In ancient written sources Kupalo is characterized as a pagan god of earthly fruits, to which the bread was sacrificed – the main fruit of the earth.
is one of the largest religious holidays. It is celebrated on the day of the end of The Petrov fast on July 12 from the time of early Christianity – still in the Roman Empire.
August 14 – Makovei
Orthodox holiday of rendering honest trees of the Living Cross of the Lord (in the people – Makove, or First Spas). On the eve of Makove you need to prepare a "Macovian flower" – a bouquet that consists of many plants – mint, thyme, marigolds. It is believed that each plant has its inherent magical meaning.
Another interesting rite is connected with Makovey – the consecration of water, especially wells. This, by the way, is the deep custom of our forefathers, rooted in pre-Christian beliefs. Before the consecration, the boys and men cleaned the bottom of the wells. The girls weaved wreaths and decorated their wells, and in the water threw ayr and lovers to drive out evil forces and help to settle good spirits.
August 19 – Spas (Transformation of the Lord)
By celebrating the Transfiguration, the Church professes a connection in Christ of two beginnings, human and God's. Transformation is the appearance of the Son at the testimony of the Father in the Holy Spirit, that is, the revelation of all the incarnations of the Holy Trinity. On this day in the church consecrate pears, apples, grapes, honey and wreaths or ears of rye and wheat. Once upon a time, orthodox peasants had not eaten fruit until that day, because it was considered a sin. Returning from the church, the family, of course, solemnly sat down at the table and warmed up: ate apples with honey and drank grape or apple wine, "that the fruit gave birth." The ceremonial food on this day are the shuliks.
Saved is the day of remembrance of deceased relatives; according to folk mythology, this is the third performance of the dead in the spring-summer season: the dead appear on Good Thursday, on the Green Holidays and on The Spas.
September 21 – Christmas of Our Lady (Second Pure)
All over Ukraine on this day was the extraction of a new fire – the old fire was extinguished, and the new (living) mined. The live fire was extracted only by rubbing the tree against the tree or being bent with flint on dry slivers. Today, perhaps, it is impossible to find flint. This holiday is the day of child labour, when women who do not have children, cover, sometimes, lunch and invite the poor – "to pray to the Virgin for her children." Such women hire God's service in the church, and after the service invite people to their lunch. Before Christmas, our virgins hid for the winter bee swarms, and to visit young families went parents and relatives. This holiday marked the end of the summer field work and the beginning of the winter cycle. At present, of course, it rains in Ukraine, and that's why they say: "The second Pure Rain is pouring!"
October 14 – Cover (The Cover of Our Lady)
The great holiday is based on the tradition of the phenomenon of Andrew, Christ for the sake of the foolish, the Mother of God in the Vlaherna Temple in Constantinople, where the risque of the Mother of God was kept.
Signs on the Cover:
1. If the wind blows from the east, winter will be cold, and if from the south – to warm winter, if from the north – winter will be cold and snowy; variable – to fickle.
October 14 – Ukrainian Kozatztv Day
Cossacks so believed in the power of the Cover of Our Lady and so sincerely and solemnly celebrated the holiday of the Cover, that for centuries in Ukraine, he acquired also Cossack content and received a second name – Cossack Cover. Recently, the holiday of the Cover in Ukraine is also celebrated as the day of the Ukrainian Cossacks.
Andrew was the first of the apostles to follow Jesus Christ. He later brought to the Savior his brother, St. Peter.
In the people still this holiday is called Kalita. It is considered a bachelor holiday, because on St. Andrew's Night guys are allowed to hide and make various losses, and girls on this night can learn their fate.
December 18-19 – St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (Mikolaya)
Patron of Children and Travellers – on the night of December 18-19. From a whole series of Saints Nicholas can be considered the most revered and famous – he is revered by both the Orthodox and Catholic churches. It is believed that the first temple to the Wonderworker appeared in Kievan Rus around the 19th century – on the grave of the former Prince Askold.