Kolyada: a holiday and its meaning, what are carols
Every year we look forward to the arrival of winter holidays and perceive Christmas and New Year as a magical time with unforgettable emotions, delicious food, vacations, trips, meetings with family and friends.
However, few people know that Christmas is this great Christian holiday, which has not only religious, but deep national roots. In ancient Russia, the Christmas week was fun and noisy, it was accompanied by carols and walking on the streets of the mummers.
In this article we will try to delve into the history of carols, and understand their true meaning.
What are carols?
Popular festivities, accompanied by chants and dances, since ancient times were an integral part of the lives of ordinary people. Everything, from young to old, can take part in this venture, make a costume depicting animals or forest dwellers, leave the house to perform holiday ritual songs.
For costumes used skins, masks, animal horns, fabrics and other materials.
Waited waiters in every home, it was believed that if they came in, it means there will be happiness and luck in the house. Kolyadayuschie for their songs and dances received gifts from the owners, there was a kind of exchange of wishes of good luck and prosperity.
We will dance and sing for you, play funny scenes from life, in a word, we will have fun with you from the heart, and you be so kind as to thank us.
Kolyada is a concept associated with the traditions of not only the Russian people. Very similar ceremonies can be found far beyond the borders of our country.
Of course, they look a little different, for example: in the Catholic Church, the mummers are characters from the Bible, but they also visit the houses and are the bearers of the “light”.
The word “carols” is a derivative of the name of the holiday period “Kolyada”, which lasted from Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord. For two weeks holiday songs were sung, in which were wishes to the one for whom they were performed.
Of course, today the sacral meaning of the chants has been lost and simplified to the maximum, but several centuries ago every spoken word bore a deep meaning and meaning.
Slavic rituals, called carols, used to play an important role in expelling evil spirits, diseases and tribulations from the houses. Each image and costume, invented from what was at hand, had a certain meaning and played also a huge value.
A bear, a goat, a ram, or other masks were supposed to help frighten evil spirits, diamonds, and clappers with which the caroling people frightened evil spirits. Bear as a symbol of strength and power, goat, as an image of fun and goodness.
Of course, such traditions go far back in time, when the Slavs had a huge number of holidays, which later merged into one.
Today, the holiday of Kolyadki has lost its original meaning, and rarely in what community or group can one hear those most authentic chants, hear that set of words and poems that our distant ancestors sang. Today carols are purchased, far from the present, costumes and outfits. Children going to caroling, today, as a rule, are puzzled by only one thing: to get money and sweets for their performance.
But even such attempts to preserve traditions become very rare.
Do not open the door to the caroller, it means incurring failures and losses, so if you disguised yourself knocking on your house, open the doors to them and give them as much as you can.
Song selection and the meaning of the ceremony
Poems and songs for carols can be taken in various sources, they are on the Internet and numerous collections of folklore. Many holiday songs came to us from time immemorial, but there are those that appeared relatively recently. All of them are united by one thing — good and good wishes.
Recall the lines well known from childhood: “The Nativity of Christ — the angel has arrived. He flew through the sky, people sang a song: All people, rejoice, triumph today! Or such lines: “Kolyada, kolyada, open the gate! Open the chests, reach for the cocks! ”
Surely you remembered such familiar songs, because many of us first met them in kindergarten.
The evening of January 6 is considered the beginning of carols; it is at this time that we meet with our neighbors, relatives and congratulate everyone on Christmas Eve and the upcoming Christmas. It is on the eve of Christmas that good wishes, gifts, and songs for all people meeting on the way are very relevant.
The next day, January 7, is a great Christmas holiday, where feasts, greetings, meetings of large companies and closest relatives begin. At the table they sing Christmas carols and congratulations, this is the time of Christmas.
On the old new year, on January 13, they are being generous, and already other songs are already in the course: “I sow, wind, sow, Happy New Year, congratulations!” by your presence.
Today the days of carols most often fall on January 6, 7 and 13, although this is not quite true. But even in this form, the preservation of folk traditions, especially among the younger generation, is extremely important.
Many leaders of folk groups try to instill in their pupils a love for beautiful national holidays, and this is very timely. And what could be more beautiful than the winter New Year holidays, when every house has an elegant Christmas tree, when it smells like tangerines and delicious cakes, when close people are gathered in each house and a high festive mood is in the air.
Choosing a song for carols today is not difficult, you just have to google it and there are several options to choose from, but if you want to find real lyrics, you will have to turn to the special literature. Well, if the words of the carols are simple and memorable, then the mummers and the masters can perform them together.
From the history of the holiday
In ancient Russia, holidays were celebrated widely and voluntarily, they were accompanied by mass celebrations, real feasts, collective songs and round dances. Kolyada belongs to the same category of mass folk festivals.
In the evening, on the eve of Christmas, namely on Christmas Eve, young people gathered in one hut and started to dress up, make suits and masks, everything that was at hand went into action. From a number of popular images can be identified such characters:
- From animals took a bear, a cow, a crane and a goat.
- Among the evil spirits, popular images were witches and devils, and other mythical creatures, such as the mermaid, the devil.
- Girls often dressed as men, and boys as women.
After the young people were dressed in costumes, the mummers went for a walk, and I must say that they behaved provocatively, thundered, laughed and raged, sometimes even pestering passersby. Gradually, this behavior changed to a more worthy pastime, the defiant behavior was replaced by chants, and many unclean characters went into the summer.
The main meaning of the carols was a beautiful and bright congratulation — a speech in front of the owners of the house, where the mummers went, wishes of peace and good. After the improvised concert, the “guests” were presented with pies, sweets, and money.
After going home, carollers celebrated a holiday with someone at home, trying refreshments and remembering carols.
What are carols today? Most likely, it is a longing for that merry and reckless national holiday, which is almost forgotten.
Today we are isolated and divided, we rarely gather for mass celebrations and even less often take part in them, remaining passive observers. Such a rarity as carols becomes available only to those who live in villages or small villages, and then when there is a person who is able to organize and hold this merry New Year’s holiday.
An organizer who is able to interest children and parents in such an event and arouse their genuine interest. As a rule, such people are the leaders of children’s folk ensembles or folklore groups, sometimes class teachers of secondary schools or teachers of Sunday schools.
- Carols is a folk holiday with bright traditions, which is held over a two-week period from January 6 to 13.
- Carols bring joy, peace and a wish for happiness to all to whom they are dedicated and for whom they are performed.
- In antiquity, it was considered a bad omen not to open the doors of the mummers on Christmas Eve, which brought troubles and troubles to the house.
- The lyrics of songs — carols today can be easily found in collections on national holidays. The main thing is that they should be understood by those who perform them and those who listen to them.
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