How ancient Belarusians celebrated Kaliady

How ancient Belarusians celebrated Kaliady

Kaliady (Kolyada) was the main winter holiday for the ancestors of Belarusians and the main symbol of the coming year. Usually, the celebrations were held from December 25 till January 6.

In ancient times, neither women nor men could work during this period; they should have a rest from a daily routine.

There was a tradition: if a family wanted the next year to be successful, they should sacrifice a goat. From the goat’s skin they made a pipe. It was believed that the worse the goat’s voice, the better the pipe’s sound.

Our ancestors were sure that the souls of dead people stay with us, but in some other form. However, if a family had a goat, it scared all the evil spirits and brought joy, well-being and a good harvest.

Belarusian people cleaned the house up, heated the stove, made clothes and of course cooked a Christmas dinner to prepare for the celebrations.

The food was varied: meat, sausages, pancakes, baked potatoes, sour cabbage, sweets, kvass, beer and many more.

People got used to consider New Year the main winter holiday, but Belarusians are trying to maintain traditions and celebrate Kolyada no less brightly and cheerfully.