Green Christmas: folk traditions, rituals and signs in the week before the Trinity
Christmas holidays are a national holiday, which has many traditions and rituals aimed at achieving well-being and happiness.
Green yoke in the people was considered the boundary between the spring and the beginning of the summer period. This period is also called Rusal. The event has traditionally been celebrated on a grand scale, with various rituals and ceremonies. Wide celebrations at the Green Christmas time were all over the place.
The celebration of the Christmas season — the week before the Trinity. Green Christmas holidays are celebrated from May 28 to June 3.
Traditions, rites and omens at the Green Christmas time
The symbol of the holiday is birch. Our ancestors solemnly brought the birch branches into the house so that they would help to ward off misfortunes and attract well-being.
On Monday, according to beliefs, it is not allowed to touch the ground, plant and loosen the soil. People respected this sign, believing that they would give the land a rest before starting sowing, in order to subsequently gather a rich harvest.
Green Yuletide nicknamed Semitsky week in honor of the main holiday — Semik, celebrated on Thursday. During the festive week, ritual figures, called Semik and Semchikha, were made. Young people went home with them and wished everyone good luck and happiness.
Orthodox prayers after the prayer visit cemeteries and decorate the graves of relatives with birch branches and wild flowers. At the graveyards must leave food as a commemoration of the dead.
Young girls performed ritual songs in the fields planted with cereals, and depicted sowing flax, its processing. Thus, they attracted the attention of ancestral spirits to those living on the earth and asked for mercy for a good growth of the harvest.
Starting from the first day of the Green Christmas, unmarried girls baked small patties with meat and threw them into the reservoirs to appease the water inhabitants. This ritual was a kind of redemption and a guarantee that the mermaids and watermen would not encroach upon the villagers and come to the rescue in case of trouble. Many girls thus guessed on his betrothed and made intimate desires, which, according to legends, would come true, if the treat was to be enjoyed.
On Semik, a day three days before the Trinity, which falls on June 1, mass celebrations are held, decorated with colorful ribbons of birch, wishes are made. The obligatory ritual was to leave offerings under the trees, including cooked scrambled eggs — a symbol of fertility and the beginning of a new life.
All the rituals per week of the Green Christmas were divided into labor and love. In each family, ceremonies were carried out in order for the fields and gardens to bear fruit, and the weather allowed them to begin sowing and agricultural work on time. Love rituals were performed by unmarried girls and were aimed at attracting the future husband.
Also, in the Green Christmas time, protective rituals were held everywhere in order to appease the evil spirits, which, according to popular beliefs, were activated before the holiday of the Trinity. For this, gifts were collected from all the houses and left with bows at the edge of the forest, asking for a good harvest of mushrooms, berries and nuts.
The ceremonies at the Green Christmas time were of great importance for our ancestors. They lived in unity with nature and tried their best to take care of it. Each ritual is a unique way of expressing gratitude for a prosperous life and the opportunity to attract good luck. We wish you happiness, and do not forget to press the buttons and