Red Hill April 15: traditions of the national holiday
In the festival Red Hill closely intertwined folk and church traditions, which are observed to this day. This bright holiday falls on the first Sunday after Easter.
On April 15, Orthodox Christians will celebrate Antipaskha, or Fomino Sunday. This day has absorbed many religious and folk traditions observed by Orthodox people. Antipaskha is a church holiday, which coincides with the Red Hill, which appeared in Russia in pre-Christian times.
There are many holidays in the Orthodox Church, which are the heritage of pagan times. The celebration of Antipaskhi has breathed new meaning into the Red Hill, because at this time the Orthodox people can once again rejoice at the greatest event of the Resurrection of the Lord. On the 15th, believers remember the life of Thomas, one of the disciples of Christ, who believed in the immortality of his Master only after his appearance before the apostle.
This day is an addition to Easter, besides from that moment on the churches weddings are resumed. The celebration of the Red Hill is connected with this event, because during Lent, young couples could not tie the knot.
Traditions of the Red Hill
The red hill is so named not by chance: red color meant beauty, flowering and fun. The holiday is considered to be a girl’s day, when each girl can find her betrothed or get engaged to the groom. A short break before the field work allowed our ancestors to rest, to widely celebrate the beginning of spring, the end of Lent and to congratulate the families that had been created with legal marriage.
Mass festivities were previously held on the hills, where there was enough sunlight, so long awaited after a harsh and cold winter. The holiday had another meaning: it symbolized the rebirth and victory of life over death, the warm spring over the cruel cold.
The celebration began with the first rays of the sun, and young people met the dawn on the hillock. As soon as the first rays were shown, the girls and boys greeted the sun with a traditional song and rolled a loaf baked the day before, as well as a painted Easter egg, from a hillock.
On the Red Hill, young people who have not yet found a mate got acquainted during the festivities. They chose the bridegroom during the games and jestingly performed the marriage ceremony. Often after the comic declarations of love, sincere offers of a hand and heart followed.
Weddings played on the day of the holiday were considered the most prosperous and blessed Heavens.
On the day of the holiday everyone chose the best outfit. The girls decorated their hair with bright ribbons, wreaths of the first flowers and tried to attract the attention of the guys. Mandatory on the Red Hill were round dances with traditional songs.
According to legends, the more the dance was, the more prosperity attracted the village or another locality. Dances often led not only on the hills, but also in the fields. It was believed that the energy of young people charged the earth with positive energy, so the harvest will be abundant.
By tradition, this day it was impossible to stay at home. Those who refused to celebrate without a good reason risked their future, which they could spend alone. On this day, all the unmarried girls and boys tried to find a mate for themselves. Newlyweds walked through the villages, sang merry songs, and often rode in decorated carts pulled by horses.
Scarlet ribbons, a symbol of rebirth and warmth, were woven into the horses’ manes.
In antiquity, all women, beginning with 14-year-old girls, gathered at the Red Hill at night at the highest place near their village. The oldest of them harnessed themselves in a plow and bypassed the village in a circle. The others walked alongside and read prayers in order to protect all inhabitants from troubles and hardships, diseases and fires.
In the modern world, such rituals seem extremely unusual, but you can use more familiar and simple rituals, which are also traditionally performed on the Red Hill: for example, to tell fortunes or attract love.
In order to get married sooner, in antiquity young men coaxed the spirit of the house, or house-spirit. Girls and boys put tasty treats on a beautiful saucer, bowed in a belt and asked the keeper of the center for help in attracting love. Brownies often helped young people, attracting potential grooms and brides to their doorsteps.
However, this rite is more feminine, as the brownies are accustomed to work around the house side by side with the hostesses.
On the Red Hill, the girl who wanted to get married, had to carefully remove their home. Cleaning begins at the farthest corner of the house and ends at the doorstep. Garbage and dirty water should be taken away from the house, so that the negative will not return to its walls.
After that it is important to open all windows and doors with the words: «I open the door for love, loneliness no longer know.»
Traditional rituals were carried out from dawn until late at night, and shortly before midnight, they divined to their betrothed: they poured wax into clean well water and looked at bizarre figures to understand what they expected ahead.
By tradition, this day was getting rid of trash: old clothes, household items, broken kitchen utensils and other things that had become useless were burned at the stake. This rite helped to get rid of disease and negativity.
Spend a festive day with your lover, and if you do not have a pair, be sure to go out. Who knows, maybe on April 15 you will meet your fate. And in order not to miss the oncoming happiness, you can familiarize yourself with folk signs of love. I wish you happiness and prosperity, and do not forget to press buttons and