a Doctor of History, professor, head of the “Archival Scientific Funds of Manuscripts and Audio-Recordings” Department of the M. Rylskyi Institute of Art studies, Folkloristics and Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Wedding customs and rites of Ukrainians of the Slobozhanshchyna of the 20th – early 21st centuries
The article is dedicated to an important family event concerning to a new family creation aimed at the human kin continuation. The investigation assures, that Ukrainian traditional wedding is characterized by the permanent structure and all-Ukrainian features all over the ethnic territory. At the same time certain local peculiarities have been formed in the connection with various stages of the colonization, composite borderline and disseminations of the other ethnoses elements. The main interborrowings have happened at the borders, where Ukrainian villages and compound with Russian population are situated. It is shown in the article, that traditional rituals have kept mainly unchangeable till the 1920s. It has been important to follow them for the tradition. It has been unwritten law, honoured by the relatives. However, in the 1930s the family ceremonies structure has been distorted with the violent methods of the Soviet authority strengthening. The rite has sustained considerable changes. In the middle of the ХХ century a certain stabilization in the mode of life has happened and separate elements of the ceremonial significance are revived. It is especially conspicuous during the ritual bread baking. It is presented to the relatives, used to bless a newly married couple, change among the matchmakers. The ritual actions, connected with matchmaking and engagement have been shortened in time a little. Often they have been united. The rites of the bride and fiance separation from the youth without a family have existed. They have kept specific folk symbolism and denoted farewell with been a maid and youth. Still in the 1960s–1970s the traditions of the bride transportation to the husband house have been preserved. Various purifying ceremonies, including the conveyance through the fire, the mother-in-law reception of the daughter in law in the own house and others, have been executed here. Wedding ritual has been shifted in time in the connection with two free days and now the first wedding day is on Saturday, but not Sunday as earlier. The church marriage ceremony has almost disappeared in the Soviet times. It has not been followed. Gradually marriage ceremony becomes a structural part of wedding itself in city and village in the times of independent Ukraine. Separate elements of traditional rural culture have gained enlargement in the city. In particular, these are wedding ranks cording with embroidered rushnyky, a newly married couple strewing with grain, redemption jokes when a bridegroom comes and others. A ritual song has suffered the most significant harm. It has remained partly only in the memory of the older generation.
Slobozhanshchyna, Ukrainians, customs, rituals, wedding, games, bridecake.
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