In may, our ancient ancestors all over Europe widely and lavishly celebrated the Spring. Living on solar and lunar cycles, the ancient Russians and other Slavs, and Celts, Germans and other nationalities at this time performing rituals for the fertility of land, bringing the cattle to summer pastures and festivities celebrating the arrival of this heat. Read about Spirit day, a Day of Spring, Walpurgis night, Beltane and other ancient folk festivals may
Spring day in may, celebrated almost everywhere in Europe and Asia. It’s spirit day, the Slavs, the festival of Flora in ancient Rome, the Walpurgis night and may day the German and Scandinavian tribes, Beltain Celtic peoples, Nowruz in Iran. In the pagan calendar based on solar and lunar cycles, the may festivals were at the midpoint between the vernal equinox (20-21 March) and summer solstice (June 21) .
Spirit day (Rosalina) – the ancient Russian holiday
Main Russian and East Slavic ancient folk festivals the summer fell at the end of may (later than in Central and southern Europe) and, of course, were tied to the land and its fertility. In spirit day (Rosalina, Mermaid, Mermaids) . was believed that the Mother Earth was pregnant from Perun (God of thunder) future harvest and any work on earth in this day, were forbidden. At this time frequently dropped and the first spring thunderstorms. In spirit day committing ritual crawls fields (later religious processions), the old women ‘feed the ground’, leaving the dishes, crouched his head to know a secret (which was opened, according to popular belief, only a wise and favorites). These days, for the first time in a year used to collect medicinal herbs. Mermaids in spirit day . according to legends, out on the land and watered the fields for the next harvest. Hence the second name of the holiday – Rosalina . In Ukraine this day is sanctified wells, which were thought to be hiding mermaids, released from his element. Interestingly, mermaids simultaneously revered, feared and cajoled.
With the establishment of Christianity, Duhova day was given a Christian meaning to this ancient Eastern Slavic festival was included in the Green holidays . The ROC celebrates spirit day is next Monday after Trinity.
In many areas in the North and in the centre of Russia, people believed that Spirits of the day the souls of the dead return to earth. In some places, the ritual of Raspletina Maypole after the holiday is associated with the spirits of the dead. Ritual Maypole (in Russia – may birch ) on this day, carried outside the boundaries of the village. These days were taken fun night celebrations and rituals of this day is surprisingly reminiscent of the rituals of the November all saints Day . Subsequently, the Orthodox Church did not approve of the festivities and the Mermaids (mermaid days) the Orthodox have now been linked with the remembrance of the dead.
Walpurgis night and Beltane
On the eve of May day (April 30 to may 1) Germans and many other European nationalities (Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland) vigorously celebrated Walpurgis night. Walpurgisnacht ), or Night witches . According to ancient legend, this night was a meeting of sorcerers and witches in the hills of the Harz mountains (Germany) on the Sabbath, devoted. the coming spring. Subsequently, with Christianization, the festival celebrated mainly as a spring festival with all the attendant rituals, in the first place – kindle fire.
Interestingly, the meaning and rituals of Walpurgis night and the subsequent days in May in different countries is largely dependent on climate. So, in colder regions (Czech Republic, Estonia) on Walpurgis night celebrated the arrival of spring and goodbye to winter by burning straw ‘witch’ (so as not to remember the Russian pancake week !).
Celtic Beltane (Beltain) also occurred at night, on the eve of May day (April 30 to may 1). Beltane the Celts living in a milder climate compared to the Germans and Slavs, meant the beginning of summer (Samhain on 1 November – the beginning of winter). This day the Celts was associated with more cattle than farming; many of the rituals were aimed at protecting livestock. Interestingly, just like the Slavs, the Celts in this day worshipped the Holy sources is an important area for keys and wells. In addition, Beltain was accompanied by constant cleansing fires. Interesting ritual of washing your face in the may dew, which, according to legend, gave beauty and prolonged youth.
Many of the rituals of May day is shared between different European nationalities.
In may day, the Windows and doors of dwellings were decorated with lush branches and flower garlands. In the Central square of the European villages put up the Maypole . which was a pole (a symbol of masculinity), crowned with a wreath or a dome (the symbol of the feminine). The may tree was traditionally decorated with branches Rowan or hawthorn, flowers, empty the shells from colored eggs. remaining from the recent holidays of spring. long colorful ribbons. Many curious traditions connected with the matchmaking and folk festivals, around the ancient ritual of installing and stumble ribbons of the Maypole (a kind of analogue of the Christmas tree ).
On may day was chosen Queen of may . who wore white robes and a wreath of flowers. The day ended with a fun ritual dances around the Maypole . during which all were taken tied to the top of the ribbons and entangled their Maypole . There would be time for weddings.
Photo: traditional may fair at the school where our children go. This day is the same love and waiting for both children and adults.
The tradition of celebrating May day is alive and well today in many countries of Europe and the States of the British Commonwealth. In the modern version at the may fairs are performances for children and adults creative teams, entertainment and attractions for the whole family, as well as kebabs and other popular food outdoors. Usually fees from entertainment and food are in favor of one or another charitable organization or institution.
Nowadays in many European countries on 1 may – spring Day – the official holiday and a day. In England the official holidays are two days in may: the first Monday in may – May Day . or Early May Bank Holiday (previously known as Whit Monday and the last Monday in may – Spring Bank Holiday .
Interestingly, some rituals labor Day, or the Day of solidarity of workers (as the very name of this holiday of workers and trade unions in many countries) borrowed or mixed with folk traditions of the may festivals.