Radunitsa: taking care of ancestors

Radunitsa, spring dzyady - this is an old pagan holiday of the Eastern Slavs. This day (and the whole preceding week) is called «Parental». We celebrate the holiday on the 9th day after the Orthodox Easter. At this time, the Belarusians visit the graves of their deceased relatives, clean them of the garbage, decorate with the flowers and bring food. There are a lot of similar holidays in the world, but the distinctive feature of the Belarusian day of commemoration, it is the presence of ritual food, which is brought to the cemetery. For this case, we prepare a special wheat porridge without sauces (kutya). We put everything in a linen bag: the eggs and cakes, cheese, salt, pancakes, bacon and in the modern tradition - alcoholic beverages. The number of dishes must necessarily be odd, in some traditions there's a specific figure — 7.

Картинки по запросу радоница фото

For many centuries Radunitsa has undergone a number of significant changes, but has not lost its main meaning - reverence of the dead and faith in the afterlife. The cult of ancestors, like the cult of the Earth, were important in the life of the ancient Slavs, beavuse agriculture, gathering and hunting fed them. Therefore, they tried to "appease" Earth-Mother in every possible way. And the deceased relatives were asked to help. Thus, Radunitsa, despite her memorial character, can not be called sad. The ancient Slavs were having fun that day, and there are some evidences (proverbs and songs). Initially, Radunitsa was celebrated for three days. The first day was dedicated to rituals connected with veneration of the Earth, where we bury people and where plants grow. The second day was spent for remembrance and lamentation of ancestors. And on the third day, everyone celebrated the spring.

According to the modern tradition, people go to church in the morning and listen to the special memorial service, and after lunch they go to the cemetery. First, they clean the grave, and then perform the ritual of «skating an egg». They roll the egg around the grave with the words «Christ is risen». Then everyone silently seat around the grave, and the solemn meal begins with the invitation of the deceased. Usually people say: «Holy parents go to us to eat bread and salt». The symbiosis of life, death and survival, on this day, reaches its culturological apogee. The church does not welcome these rituals with food, explaining that they are contrary to Christian traditions. But people do not even ask themselves about the meaning and belonging of the ritual, and act in the same way as «ancestors did». This paradox is one of the many markers of the nominal character of the Christianization of the Belarusians, which observe the traditions more reflexively than consciously.

Картинки по запросу радоница беларусь

In recent years, the Radunitsa events have grown into a separate business segment. Two weeks before Radunitsa, shops and markets are filled with countless bouquets of bright artificial flowers, special tablecloths, towels and candles. Sellers preserve some unsold ritual objects until the autumn, when we celebrate the second day of the commemoration of the dead: it's autumn Dzyady or Saroki. This holiday was considered more important in the cult of the commemoration of the dead and was celebrated in the third week after the Orthodox holiday of the Intercession. But today we celebrate it on November 2, on Memorial Day, an official state holiday.

Картинки по запросу куличи и яйца

Картинки по запросу кутья

The relationship between Life and Death is the most durable and sacred in the history of the development of mankind. Life tries to conquer death, and that proves its invincibility on earth. The cultural tradition of Radunitsa is another proof of the victory of mankind over the fear of death, a belief in life after it. You should remember your ancestors and your story, but there is more important to love and to take care of those who live with you in this world.

Картинки по запросу белорусский рушник

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