четверг, 8 января 2009 г.

Yule


Yule continues in Russia. It lasts from Christmas, which the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates on January 7, up to Epiphany (January 19). In old times, all works were banned for the period of Yule. All the family sat at the Christmas table, which they tried to make most lavish. The necessary meal was crumbly kasha made of millet and rice with fruits, called kutya. Straw was put under dishes to ensure better harvest. Puppeteers were shifting from one village to another, performing scenes from the Bible; mummers entered houses, wishing health to the dwellers and good harvest in the new year; people sung kolyadki - old Christmas and New Year ritual carols. Nobody wanted to be seen as a stingy person, that is why the carol-singers always received lavish presents in pies, spice-cakes and rhino. Each trader had a special store of goods for giving them out to the have-nots during all the days of Yule. On Yule nights, people were telling fortunes, trying to know about their future.
The rich tradition of Christmas and Yule are told about by the traditional Christmas Exhibition, opened in Voronezh museum of the great Russian artiste Anatoly Durov. Holiday dresses, paunchy samovars, around which noisy feasts were, wicker baskets with which peddlers strolled from one house to another are present. There is a New Year Tree in the museum, decorated as it was 100 years ago. The toys were made by own hands usually. The New Year Tree was decorated with walnuts wrapped in foil, bonbons, spice-cakes, fruits. Dolls were sewed from rags and then given to the guests.
Yule traditions that survived in villages are now reviving in towns and cities, too. Many of Christmas events now held in Russian cities have already became traditional. The third charitable marathon "Christmas Present" is held in Novgorod. It is aimed on giving aid to children from needy families and pensioners. In Krasnodar all the city's schoolchildren - and there are more than 70 thousands of them there - received sweets from the local investment bank. In Orenburg the second regional festival "Blind Musician" was held within the framework of charitable action "Care for Invalids", giving disabled people a chance to show their talents.

Source:Voice of Russia
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