January holidays, traditionally held every year, can now be called the real little winter vacation. Where do the tourists go? Basically it is Belovezhskaya Pushcha, a visit to Santa Claus, Baba Yaga. But there is on the map of Belarus the village of Semezhevo that is in Kopylsky region. Tourists come here for the Old New year. Because in Semezhevo there is interesting, unusual and old-fashioned traditional rite "Carol kings".

Aty-Baty, there went soldiers...

Since 2009 Semezhevo rite "Carol kings" is included in the List of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. But little is known on how this rite came to the Belarusian land. The fact is that the village of Semezhevo was after the Third partition of the Commonwealth in the possession of Russia. On the territory of the village there housed the soldiers of the Russian army. Local residents went home to congratulate them with the New year on December 31. According to the new style this date is moved to January 13. As you know, this is "Generous evening" in Belarus.

"Carol kings"

In semezhevo the two traditions are not forgotten: soldiers and people. The peculiarity is that the procession of Semezhevo carols is led by seven brave soldiers. Basically they are always unmarried young men of the village or nearby village. They are dressed in their clothes decorated with tied criss-cross Semezhevo red belt with ornament.

The acting characters of these festive processions are also "doctor", "grandma" – mostly male, dressed in women's clothes, and "grandfather" is a girl, reincarnated in a guy. All of them elegant go home and show performances.

"King Maximilian"

Any tourist can join the procession and watch the performance after the folk drama "King Maximilian". So, one of the scenes, where the cast is dressed as soldiers is a story about the king’s quarrel and argue. The doctor, accordingly, treats the king Mamaj. But the role of women with the grandfather in all this ritual is to steal that owners have badly hidden. Of course, all this happens as a joke.

After seeing the view, the owners of the house are treated here. Basically, they prepare in advance. For example, bake a pie or make homemade sausage. Folk and traditional dishes are cooked for this day. It is important not to skimp on food, as it is a generous evening. As you know, the more you give the more you receive then.

Folk custom

The rite of "Christmas Carol kings" is not just a tribute to tradition, but continuing from year to year, it is attractive to tourists. In the village of Semezhevo everyone knows it well, and so every year there are invited a huge number of people. Tourist buses stop at Belarusian houses to see all the fun and joy of this tradition. This means that from generation to generation there goes such an important tradition. "Carol kings" will be the holiday that will never cease to exist.

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