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Wide Pancake: pagan forerunner of spring

February 27 2006

Carnival has begun a broad, ancient Slavic feast, who came to us from distant pagan ancestors. Pancake Day is celebrated in the week before Lent, 56 days before the celebration of Easter.

According to historians, the ancient carnival has been associated with the day of the spring solstice, but with the adoption of Christianity it was preceded by Lent and depend on its timing. But the last century ethnographer IM Snegirev believed that carnival in pagan times was accompanied by a celebration in honor of the pagan god Veles, protector of livestock and agriculture.

But that's not all about the importance of Carnival. For the Slavs it was long and New Year! After all, before the XIV century, the year in Russia began in March. And on a long-standing beliefs thought: how to meet people a year, so it will be. Therefore, did not stint Rusichi this holiday for a generous meal and unrestrained merriment. And they called Carnival of the people "fair", "general", "obzhornoy" and then "razoritelnitsey.

Neither the acceptance of Christianity, nor change the time frame of the New Year did not make Russia give up favorite holiday - hospitable and riotous-gay, which seemed a reflection of Russian nature, sometimes not knowing the steps and restraint.

By the pore Day Carnival arranges social mountains, swings, booths for the buffoons, the tables with dishes. Rich people are already starting Monday pancakes, and the poor - from Thursday or Friday. In the olden days the first pancake was given a poor brother - in remembrance of the dead. In the steppe villages first pancake is placed on the dormer window - for the souls of their parents.

Common Pancake fun, especially in the outback, were fist fights. But the most beloved and beautiful oleaginous ceremony was sledding. Traveled all who had a horse, and the streets of towns and villages rushed to race-suit rides: the rich flaunt sleek trotters and painted sled, indoor carpet or a bearskin rug, and after clumsy peasant rode horses, polished to a shine, decorated with colorful ribbons and paper flowers .

The main entertainment on Carnival - pancakes, baked and ate in countless numbers. In the famous St. Petersburg and Moscow restaurants this week, quick sex with the menu card was placed on the tables printed with congratulations on Carnival, often written in verse and decorated with bright pictures. On each day of carnival week, there were certain rituals. On Monday - a meeting Shrove Tuesday - zaigryshi. On Wednesday, gourmet Tiffany invited zyatev on pancakes. In a wide Thursday occurred most populous sleigh riding. Friday - Teschin Vecherki - wife's mother-in-law called to treat. Saturday zolovkinym assigned seating.

Sunday was called "Forgiveness Day". Frenchman Jean Marzheret, who served in Russia in the early XVII century, said that Russian in the day "go visit each other, exchanging kisses, bowing and apologizing to each other, if offended by words or deeds."

The main episode of the last day was "seeing carnival", often accompanied by vozzhiganim fires.In Russia, to this day makes stuffed Winters straw or rags, dressed in his usual women's clothes, carried through the village, sometimes placing a dummy at the wheel, stuck on top of the pole, went out of the village, stuffed or drowned in the hole, either burned or simply torn apart, and the remaining straw spread on the field.

P roschanie with Carnival was completed on the first day of Lent - Clean Monday, which was considered the day of purification from sin and skoromnoy food. Men usually "rinse your teeth", ie an abundance of drinking vodka, supposedly in order to rinse the mouth remains skoromnogo; in some places for "shaking out pancakes" staged fights, etc. In Lent Monday necessarily wash in the bath, while the women washed dishes and steamed "milk utensils, cleaning it from grease and residue skoromnogo.

In preparing the materials used and the book site I. Pankeeva "Russian holidays.

Константин Дятлов

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