Traditions of the Old New Year 2023. Do's and Don'ts on this day
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The Old New Year is celebrated on the night of January 13-14. And like any holiday that came from pagan times, it is accompanied by numerous rituals and signs
In 2023, the Old New Year falls on Saturday. It's time to think about what to put on the table, as well as follow all the traditions .
Focus found out how a unique holiday is celebrated in Ukraine, what should not be done on this day, and what should definitely be spent a couple of hours, as well as what customs and signs accompany it, learned Focus.
History of the Old New Year's Day
According to the calendar tradition, Christmas cannot precede the New Year, and before Christmas, the Orthodox should usually observe a strict fast. So believers cannot celebrate the New Year with traditional Russian salad and other meat dishes until they celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
Until 1918, Ukraine lived according to the Julian calendar, created by Julius Caesar, but it was not very accurate, and in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII established a new calendar named after him. In Ukraine, the counting of days according to the Julian calendar is usually called “according to the old style”, according to the Gregorian, respectively, – “according to the new one”.
That is why the Old New Year is a symbiosis of ancient, secular and church traditions.< /p>
On January 13, Malanka, or Generous Evening, is celebrated in Ukraine, and on January 14, Vasil’s Day, or Vasil’s Evening.
Malanka is a pagan holiday. According to legend, Malanka, the daughter of the goddess Lada, was kidnapped by an evil snake and released from prison by a hero. With the spread of Orthodoxy, this day began to honor the Monk Melania the Roman, whose memorial day is celebrated exactly on January 13.
Vasil's Day, or Basil's Day – the day of St. Basil, the patron saint of pig breeders. However, earlier it was the day of the hero who liberated Malanka.
Traditions of the Old New Year
January 13 is also popularly called “Generous Evening” and for good reason. Fasting is over, and therefore the table should be plentiful. Pork dishes are obligatory: jelly, homemade sausages, vereshchaku – stewed pork ribs in beetroot sauce, lisen in a bag – boiled tongue. They also prepared pancakes as a symbol of the sun, dumplings and pies with various fillings. And, of course, generous kutya, in which you can now add butter, or lard and various dried fruits – the “richer” it comes out, the more successful the year will be.
Kutya was cooked early in the morning, before dawn. The eldest woman in the family brought cereals from the barn, and the eldest man brought water from the well. They cooked porridge with sentences, and when they put it in the oven, they followed the process.
- If a pot of kutya cracks, or it comes out of the pot, it’s not good;
- It will come out small – to trouble;
- Full and rich – to good luck. And the failed kutya was thrown into the river so that the water would carry it away along with the promised troubles.
They sat down at the table in clean and smart clothes, joked and laughed a lot. Everyone had to apologize for the past year's offenses.
An important aspect of the Generous Evening, in fact, is generosity. This is an old Ukrainian New Year's custom, during which young people go around their neighbors and acquaintances, singing special songs, “genuine”. You can be generous only after sunset, when evil spirits appear.
Rituals differ from region to region. But generous people always dress up as different animals and folklore characters. A guy usually dresses up in Malanka, and his guide grandfather, Bear, Goat, Crane, Devil, King and Queen and other characters accompany him.
There is an even more ancient rite – the guy changes into Koza-Malanka, and after visiting the house, accompanied by generous people, he tries to slap the hosts with his horns. According to tradition, the Goat must be killed, and then revived with cheerful generosity and jokes.
In the morning, generous people are cleansed of communication with evil spirits by jumping over the fire. Also, Diduha is fired on it, a symbolic sheaf that has attracted good luck to the house since Christmas.
And on January 14, the sowing rites begin. This is an ancient folk custom that came from pagan times. First, they sowed with godparents and relatives, and then with neighbors. You can sow any grain, but not peas, because it is believed that it arose from the tears of the Mother of God, and therefore it will not bring good luck.
What can be done on the Old New Year
Sing, to be generous, to have fun and to guess. Moreover, fortune-telling for a betrothed from January 13 to 14 was considered the most faithful and truthful. And it's also great entertainment for a girl's company.
- To find out the name of the betrothed, the girl goes out into the street and asks for the first name of the first man she meets;
- To find out if she is lucky in marriage, they put bread, a hook and a ring in a pot of pebbles. The girl, closing her eyes, should get one of the items. If he pulls out bread, the husband will be rich, the hook will be poor, and if the ring is beautiful;
- To find out whether to wait for marriage this year, you need to roll a wedding ring across the floor. If it rolls to the doorstep, it’s worth waiting for matchmakers;
- To find out which of the girls will be the first to marry, you should release walnut shells with burning candles into a bowl of water. Whose candle burns faster – she will marry first. And if the shell sinks, don’t wait for marriage this year.
What you can’t do on the Old New Year
- You can’t lend money, otherwise throughout the year there will be problems with money;
- You can’t quarrel and swear, otherwise the whole year will pass like this: in swarms;
- You can’t serve fish and poultry to the table, otherwise luck will fly away, or float away from home ;
- You can’t count small coins – this is poverty;
- Generous people should be taken with refreshments, then the year will be happy. And if you lock the door in front of them – on the contrary;
- And the seed grain is worth collecting. You can’t throw it away, it’s better to feed the birds with it, or mix it with your own grain for sowing.
Signs of the Old New Year
- A child born on Malanka will see the future;
- If the night from January 13 to January 14 is quiet and clear, then the year will be happy, and there are many berries in the forest;
- The night from 13 to 14 is magical, so it’s worth making any wish, and it will surely come true;
- If the sun rises high on Malanka, there will be a plentiful harvest throughout the year;
- If Malanka frost abundantly covers all trees, a good harvest of honey and grain should be expected;
- Fog this night indicates an abundant harvest;
- And a blizzard promises a good harvest of nuts
An interesting fact, but the most fun Malanka is celebrated in the village of Krasnoilsk, Chernivtsi region. Traditionally, all the inhabitants of the village take part in the rituals, which makes Krasna Malanka one of the largest festivals in Ukraine, and participants prepare costumes for a whole year.
And since 2011, the folklore festival Malanka has been traditionally held in Chernivtsi -fest”. Malankari from all over Ukraine and even from neighboring countries come here and compete for the title of “Malanka of the Year”. Last year, Malanka Fest was canceled due to the coronavirus, this year it will resume and it is already known that 30 teams will take part in it.