Initially, all carols were pagan. Where did the Christian carols - told us a folklorist and collector of folk songs, folk group leader Helen Kras.
Carols - a ritual songs of the so-called calendar cycle - the most ancient and stable part of Russian folklore. (For each of the holidays in your calendar Russian people imagine their "seasonal" songs whose use was limited to a small period of the holiday.)
All carols can be divided into "hristoslavnye" (Christmas) and "seeding" (Pagan). The first devoted to the birth of Christ, those are Christmas carols, we're used to. Second, as a rule, more archaic, associated with pagan fertility cult. Their main content - wishes harvest and prosperity in the new year. Pagan carols reflect the dependence on natural forces and, in fact, had recourse to him, the gods in charge of the harvest - for the life of a medieval peasant depended directly on the crop.
word "Kolyada" - a name, so, according to many researchers, in the Slavic pantheon of pagan named one of the goddesses of fertility, whose feast was celebrated at the winter solstice. The name of the deity that has been accessed carols in different regions may vary: Tausen, Avsenev, Vinograden. Based on the traditional Russian choruses of Christmas carols, usually repeating one of these names, and every carol can be categorized by geography: Kolyada - Kursk region, grapes - Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Russian North, Tausen - Ryazan. Perform Christmas carols outside the "New Year" ceremony was forbidden.
famous custom kolyadovat us at Christmas came after the Baptism of Russia in the course of rethinking in the context of Christian culture pagan customs. Judging by the music and the harmonic ranks hristoslavnyh Russian Christmas carols, most of them are of Ukrainian origin.
Until now, the southern Russian Christian carols are more common than the pagan, and indeed the tradition kolyadovat at Christmas there is better preserved. Melodies of Christmas carols pagan, were usually very simple, such that they are easy to remember: they are all musically not too different from other people's verses, and popevok jokes. Hristoslavnye carols more complex musically.
in Russia and Ukraine in the old days before Christmas kolyadovat all: adults and children - but kolyadovat different groups: single women with the men, teenagers and children separately. It was believed that more than one day will go kolyadovschikov the house, the better. We started with kolyadovat Christmas night, immediately after the service, and continued until the Epiphany. The owners were supposed to thank kolyadovschikov treats, which are never divided, all the gifts that were recruited for the day kolyadovschiki pool their savings, they ate together.
Gentiles in the house not to let
on hristoslavnye and sowing carols were divided immediately. For example, the pagan sense of style and are seen in some folk traditions of the celebration of January 14 - the day of St. Basil the Great, when the old calendar, celebrated the New Year. Despite the memory of an Orthodox saint, kalyadovanie the day went on quite a pagan rite: the early morning in a house resorted children were thrown into the icon of the grain, cackle like geese, painted animals - all this, the pagan ideas have contributed to fertility. Sometimes kolyadovschiki dressed in unusual costumes: fur coats turned inside out, scary masks. In the Carpathians, is still possible to see such a procession. The meaning of such a dressing as archaic: vermin disguised kolyadovschik personified the dead, ancestors, who helped "fertility." As a rule, dressed exactly as the New Year, Jan. 14, fulfilled, and in this case the only crop that is pagan carols. This custom was prevalent not only in the Carpathians, but all over Russia, only to have it condemned by the Church. "New Year" kolyadovschikov not allowed in the house, and treats for gifts to the threshold or through a window. In addition, those who went to Svyatka in the "guise", it was believed necessary to plunge the Christening of "Jordan" - specially cut in the river, and blessed the hole: wash away sin. "Hristoslavnyh" kolyadovschikov, by contrast, was invited to the house.
In contrast to the dressing in masks, "hristoslavnye" kolyadovschiki procession went to the Bethlehem star that symbolized the worship of the Magi and the Infant Christ accompanied by the singing of Christmas carols and Christmas Troparion. Although there are hristoslavnye carols, which does not contain Christmas themes, but only wishes prosperity and wealth. Common and mixed variants, where the plow "is Christ and sow the corn," and helps him to the Virgin. Most likely, this ancient pagan carols, later converted to the Christian way. From the pagan past remained a chorus, the text of which may already have to be mixed: "Carol came on the eve of Christmas."
Already in the past
tradition of Christmas carols and is associated with phenomena such as a den - a theatrical act, conveys the Christmas Gospel story in the form of puppet theater. In the original den - it's portable puppet theater, a three-tiered box with a screen. Traveling from village to village, he showed a presentation, during which repeatedly performed Christmas carols, indicating the emergence of a hero, and only when there is an angel - celebrates Christmas Troparion.
Unfortunately, the tradition of singing Christmas carols in Russia died. If we go to the Western Ukraine, the Carpathians, we see that out there today for Christmas carols almost everything. In the Russian villages custom kolyadovat thing of the past, in the cities this tradition revived only in the theatrical form. I'm collecting folklore for 30 years and never saw that someone kolyadovat in our villages can be found except the elderly, who in childhood kolyadovat and remember how to do it. Of course, hristoslavnye carols - it is not just folklore, they express a living faith in Christ, and it must be very strong to manifest itself in all spheres of life.