Semik (Green Christmastide) - May 31
Green Yuletide were the main boundary between the winter and summer. In the national calendar, with the adoption of Christianity, for these days was timed holiday Trinity. In ceremonies Green Yuletide welcomed the first green of summer and the beginning of field work.
Green Yuletide cycle consisted of several rites to make the village birch, curling wreaths kumlenya, funerals cuckoo (Kostroma or mermaid). Birch was the symbol of the inexhaustible vitality. As in the winter of Yuletide - Christmas carols, all the rites involved masks, depicting animals, devils and mermaids. The songs performed during the Green Yuletide, there are two main themes: love and work. It was believed that the imitation of work ensures the welfare of future field work.
During the song "You udaysya, udaysya my flax" girl shows the process of sowing flax, his weeding, cleaning, carding and spinning. Singing the song "We planted millet" was accompanied by movements in which participants reproduced the process of sowing, harvesting, threshing, sleep in the cellar of millet.
In ancient times, both songs are sung in the fields and performed magic function. Later, ritual meaning was lost, and they began to sing in local festivals.
The house was made to bring birch branches and bunches of the first flowers. They were dried and stored in a safe place the whole year. After the start of the harvest plants were placed in store or mixed into the fresh hay. From the leaves of the trees, collected during the holiday wreaths Wiley, put them in pots, which were planted cabbage seedlings. It was thought that the Trinity plants have magical powers.
To ensure high yields, sometimes served as a special prayer service. He was contacted by the custom of "crying the flowers" - a tear drop on the turf or a bunch of flowers.
After the completion of special prayers, all participants went to the cemetery, where the graves were decorated with birch branches and arranged refreshments. Commemorated the dead, went home, leaving the cemetery food.
Green ended yuletide ritual funeral or wire Kostroma. Kostroma image is associated with the completion of the green Christmas holidays, ceremonies and rituals often took the form of ritual burial.
Kostroma could represent a beautiful girl or a young woman, dressed in white, with oak branches in their hands. She was selected from participating in the ceremony, surrounded maiden dances, and then began to bow, have signs of respect. "Dead fire" were placed on the board, and the procession moved to the river, where "Kostroma awakened" and the celebration ended with a dip.
In addition, the funeral rite Kostroma could be stuffed with straw. Accompanied by the dance of the village were stuffed, and then buried in the ground, and burned at the stake or thrown into the river. It was believed that the next year will rise Kostroma and come again to earth, bringing fertility fields and plants.