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Ukrainian evening parties or how did the youth entertain a few centuries ago

Posted on April 12 2018

As Taras Chubay, who is Ukrainian composer and musician, said: "It's the most important to reveal yourself in youth” and this was something that young girls and lads were doing, arranging entertainment parties such as “dosvitky”, “street” and “kolodky”. Due to such actions, the system of youth socialization was created, which brought up spiritual and moral qualities in young people.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

Vechornytsi: the art of Ukrainian divination

Traditionally, they began in September, when there wasn’t a lot of sunshine, people were preparing for winter coming, and a rich harvest had been gathered in a larder. A comfortable and spacious village house of an old grandmother or widow could serve as a place for meetings. A hostess was called the "adorable mother" during entertainment time.

The special centres were created in the villages where there was plenty of young people. Both girls and boys attended them in order to find their partners.

It was necessary to decorate hut to emphasize on the importance of the event. Kerosene was usually used to lit the building, and tables were covered with traditional tablecloths.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

Vechornytsi were divided into two types in Ukraine: daily and holiday. The first ones included work (spinning or embroidery), and the features of other ones were entertainment and acquaintance, elegant clothes and nourishing food.

Rural guys visited ladies with reed pipes and various dainties, sang fun songs, so that ladies never get bored.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

The youth wasn’t only resting during such events, but also was engaged in joint work. Friends helped the bride to embroider towels for wedding and boys peeled potatoes, beans and corn.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

Lemkivshchyna region was famous for its wondrous evenings because even grandparents were invited. Everyone was eager to listen to their life stories.

There was a mention of the wedding evening parties in the Chernobyl region in the memory of the Ukrainian people. There were amazing celebrations, followed by grenades (popular balls). Musicians and dancers were also invited and an ataman who led the action was elected.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

Divination or what the youth dared to do in order to find out their destiny

That's was the way the young people hoped to look into their future. Cereals, water, fire, wood and many other things served as attributes of such meetings.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

The cycle of divination began with Andrew's Day, then girls called for Fate at the party, singing "Fate, Fate, gu-u!". If after that the young man or barking dog answered, it meant that this lady would exactly marry. If there was no answer, then she wouldn’t be asked in marriage that year.

Another custom was to сarry out a mirror on the street and point it to the moon, saying, "My broom, come to me and talk to me", then his portrait might appear in the mirror.

Divination on bread rolls had always been pleasant to Ukrainian girls, because a dog predicted a destiny for them (as the most faithful friend of humans). The balabushki (another name for bread rolls) were greased with oil, spread out in pairs on the bench, and then the dog ate one from one pair, the second one from the other. Therefore, new couples were formed and the wedding would be held as it had cherished.

A special custom was observed on the territory of Poltava region, when a live bird was brought to a house (cock, chicken or goose). The sortilege was based on the behavior of the bird: if the cock firstly tried the grain, a groom would be a good host, and if it tried the water, he would be an idler and a drunkard.

Ukrainian Evening Parties Or How Did The Youth Entertain A Few Centuries Ago

Although the forms of leisure activities have improved a bit since the past century, but somewhat remained unchanged. This is the identity of the Ukrainian people and the observance of traditions. Even now, some girls believe in the magic of divination and don’t refuse to find out their destiny on Andrew’s and Catherine’s Days.

 

Used sources:

 

http://ethnography.org.ua
https://mala.storinka.org
https://gazeta.ua/articles

 

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