Semejevsky rite "Christmas carols"


January 13 in the village of Semejevo

The January holidays, traditionally held every year, can easily be called a real little winter vacation. Where are the tourists going? Basically it is the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, on a visit to Santa Claus, to Baba Yaga. But there is on the map of Belarus the village of Semejevo, which is in the Kopyl region. Here tourists come to the Old New Year. Because in Semejevo interesting, unusual and old-fashioned perform the ceremony "Christmas carols".

Aty - baty, soldiers were walking ...

The fact is that since 2009, the Semejevsky rite "Christmas carols" is on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. But very few people know how this ritual appeared on the Belarusian land. The thing is that the village of Semejevo was located after the Third partition of the Commonwealth in the possession of Russia. Just on the territory of the village and accommodated soldiers of the Russian army. They went to their homes to congratulate the local residents on the New Year on December 31. According to the new style, this date passed on January 13. As you know, this is "Generous Evening" in Belarus

"Kolyadnye Tsary"

In Semejevo, two traditions are not forgotten: the soldiers' and the people's traditions. The peculiarity is that the march of Semejevsky caroling people is headed by seven brave soldiers. Basically, these are always unmarried young guys from a village or a nearby village. They are dressed, as they say, ceremonially, their clothes are adorned with bandaged crosses - crosswise with Semejevsiy's red belts with ornament.

Acting characters of this festive procession are also "doctor", "baba" - mostly a man dressed in women's clothes and "grandfather" is a girl reincarnated as a guy. All of them are so smartly go to houses and show performances.

 "Tsar Maximilian"

Any tourist can join the procession and look at the staging of the play based on the folk drama "Tsar Maximilian". So, one of the scenes played by disguised soldiers is a story about how kings scold and argue. The doctor, accordingly, heals the king Mamai. Well, the role of the grandmother with his grandfather in all this rite is to steal something that the owners have hid. Of course, all this happens as a joke.

After watching the performances, the owners of the house treat the merry people. Basically, the holiday is prepared in advance. For example, bake pies or make homemade sausage. National and traditional dishes are cooked for this day. It is important not to stint on food, as it is a generous evening. As you know, the more you give, the more you get later.

Folk custom

The ceremony " Kolyadnye Tsary " is not just a tribute to tradition, but also a holiday that does not stop from year to year. In the village of Semejevo it is well remembered and therefore a great number of people invite each year. Tourist buses stop at Belarusian cottages, it is cheerfully and joyfully for everyone because the folk custom is not forgotten, but is revered by both visiting people and local residents. This means that from generation to generation such a significant tradition is handed over to all. " Kolyadnye Tsary " will be a holiday that will never cease to exist.

Map location

Back to the list