Slavic Native Faith's calendars and holidays

In Slavic Native Faith (Rodnovery) there are a number of shared holidays throughout the year, when important ritual activities are set according to shared calendars. Generally speaking, ritual activities may be distinguished into "external" (exoteric) and "internal" (esoteric) relatively to the different communities. External ceremonies are mass gatherings, usually held on important holidays dedicated to the worship of common gods, and involving large numbers of people. Internal ceremonies are those restricted to specific groups, and holding special meaning for such groups; they may comprise private rituals and worship of specific ancestors.[1]

Calendars of holidays

Ivanits and Rybakov's calendar of holidays

Linda J. Ivanits reconstructs a basic calendar of the East Slavs’ celebrations of Slavic gods, based on Boris Rybakov’s studies of ancient agricultural calendars, especially a fourth-century calendar found in the Kiev region.[2]

FestivalDate (Julian or Gregorian)Deity celebratedOverlapped Christian festival or figure
Yuletide
(Koliada)
Winter solsticeRod: first half
Veles: last half
Christmas,
Baptism of the Lord,
Epiphany
Shrovetide
(Komoeditsa)
Spring equinoxVeles
Day of Young ShootsMay 2Saints Boris and Gleb
SemikJune 4Yarilo
Rusalnaya WeekJune 17–23SimarglTrinity Sunday
Kupala Night
Kupalo
Summer solsticeSaint John the Baptist
Festival of PerunJuly 20Rod / PerunSaint Elijah
Harvest festivalsAutumn equinoxRodzanica / RodzanicyFeast of the Transfiguration (August 6)
Birthday of the Mother of God (September 8)
Festival of MokoshOctober 28MokoshSaint Paraskeva's Friday

General Russian Rodnover calendar of holidays

According to the Rodnover questions–answers compendium Izvednik (Изведник), almost all Russian Rodnovers rely upon the Gregorian calendar and celebrate the "sunny holidays" (highlighted in yellow in the table herebelow), with the addition of holidays dedicated to Perun, Mokosh and Veles (green herebelow), the Red Hill ancestral holiday (orange herebelow), and five further holidays dedicated to ancestors (including Вешние Деды, "Spring Forefathers"; Трояцкие Деды, "Whitsun Forefathers"; Дмитровские Деды, "Demetrius Forefathers"; and Рождественские Деды, "Christmas Forefathers", etc.). The contemporary Rodnover calendar is structured as follows:[3]

FestivalEventDate (Gregorian)
Koliada
Коляда
Winter solsticeDecember 24–25
Days of Veles
Velesovy dny (Велесовы дни)
Celebration of the god of animals, forests and commerceJanuary 2, 6 / February 17
Komoeditsa
Комоедица
Often conflated with Maslenitsa
Spring equinoxMarch 24
Krasnaya Gorka
Красная Горка
(lit. "Red Hill")
Celebration of ancestorsApril 30–May 1
Kupala Night
Купала
Summer solsticeJune 23–24
Day of Perun
Perunov den (Перунов день)
Celebration of the thunder godAugust 2
Tausen (also called Bogach, Vtorye Oseniny or Ruyen)
Таусень (Богач, Вторые Осенины, Руень)
Autumn equinoxSeptember 21
Day of Mokosh
Mokoshy den (Мокоши день)
Celebration of the great goddess of the EarthNovember 10

Ynglist calendar of holidays

Ynglism respects eight holidays throughout the year. They are arranged in a "year's wheel" (кологод, kologod) and they correspond to the eight major deities of nature. Holidays are called "thresholds" (порог, porog) and they mark the beginning of various phases of the year. There are also overarching phases: the phase between the holidays of Koliada and Kupalo is that of the blossoming of males, while the phase between Lelia and Mokosh that of the blossoming of females. The threshold of Perun marks a period of quiescence of forces, while the subsequent Mara is a phase that is unfavourable for both sexes. Each holiday and the period that it begins has appropriate, different ritual actions to be carried out; Ynglists believe that if one behaves incorrectly, his life cycle is disrupted, he becomes unhealthy and quickly grows old.[4]

FestivalMeaningPeriod
KoliadaWinter solstice. This is the threshold that marks the beginning of the spiral of the new year; forces are ready for their expansion in new creations. Men are instructed by ancestors on how to project the new year.[4]December
VelesVeles is the god of the underworld and of wild nature, from which new growth may develop. The Veles threshold marks the period in which man thinks how to interact with natural laws and resources in order to bring his projects to completion.[4]February
LeliaSpring equinox. The Lelia threshold is moment when the male transmits his power to the female, and symbolises impregnation, in which their power is perfectly balanced. In this phase projects are sown into matter.[4]March–April
YariloThe Yarilo threshold marks the phase when powers sprout. In nature, everything starts its growth and things mate with one another (in Slavic called яриться, yaritsya). In this time for merrymaking and feasts, and is a period of great creativity.[4]May–mid June
KupaloSummer solstice. This is the threshold when forces reach their utmost strength, and marks the phase when it is more likely for healthy children to be born.[4]Mid June–July
PerunIt is the threshold that marks the full maturity of males. On the day of Perun men show their skills with weapons and in crafts. At the same time it marks the start of the decline of youth, while women are in bloom.[4]August
MokoshFall equinox. Mokosh is the goddess of fate. This threshold marks a phase of introspection, as the year is coming to its end. Men examine their actions carried out during the outgoing year, in order to be transformed for the forthcoming year. The day of Mokosh is celebrated with a ritual consisting in taking a handful of earth, reckoning an action, and giving it back to the Earth.[4]September–October
MaraThis threshold marks the death of the Sun and the triumph of the chthonic goddess Marzanna, the primordial mother. However, things die only in body, while thought continues to work and concentrates to be reborn in the new year. This makes this phase propitious for study and understanding spiritual truths.[4]November

Calendars of months

Names of months in local Slavic traditions

In some Slavic languages, such as Russian, the modern names of the months are borrowings from Latin. Otherwise, local traditions and other Slavic languages have preserved Slavic endonyms (endogenous names) for months. Volkhv Aleksey Aleksandrovich Dobroslav has proposed a standardised nomenclature, as reported in the table herebelow. Many Slavic months' names refer to natural phenomena, things and human crafts (for instance, Traven means "Grass"; Bulgarian Sukh means "Dry", etc.).

LatinateDobroslav monthsBelarusianBulgarianCroatianCzechLusatianPolishSerbianUkrainian
JanuaryProsinets
Просинец
Studzień
Студзень
Golyam sechko
Голям сечко
SiječanjLedenWulki rožkStyczeńKoložeg
Коложег
Sichen
Січень
FebruaryLyuten
Лютень
Liuty
Люты
Malŭk sechko
Малък сечко
VeljačaÚnorMaly rožkLutySečko
Сечко
Lyuty
Лютий
MarchBerezen
Березень
Sakavik
Сакавік
Sukh
Сух
OžujakBřezenNaletnikMarzecDerikoža
Дерикожа
Berezen
Березень
AprilTsveten
Цветень
Krasavik
Красавік
Bryazok
Брязок
TravanjDubenJutrownikKwiecieńЛажитрава
Лажитрава
Kviten
Квітень
MayTraven
Травень
Travień
Травень
Treven
Тревен
SvibanjKvětenRožownikMajCvetanj
Цветањ
Traven
Травень
JuneKresen
Кресень
Červień
Чэрвень
Izuk
Изок
LipanjČervenSmažnikCzerwiecTrešnjar
Трешњар
Cherven
Червень
JulyLipen
Липень
Lipień
Ліпень
Chrŭvenŭ
Чръвенъ
SrpanjČervenecPražnikLipiecŽetvar
Жетвар
Lypen
Липень
AugustZarev
Зарев
Žnivień
Жнівень
Orach
Орач
KolovozSrpenŽnjencSierpieńGumnik
Гумник
Serpen
Серпень
SeptemberRuyen
Руен
Vierasień
Верасень
Ruen
Руен
RujanZáříPožnjencWrzesieńGrozdober
Гроздобер
Veresen
Вересень
OctoberListopad
Листопад
Kastryčnik
Кастрычнік
Listopad
Листопад
ListopadŘíjenWinowcPaździernikŠumopad
Шумопад
Zhovten
Жовтень
NovemberGruden
Грудень
Listapad
Лістапад
Gruden
Груден
StudeniListopadNazymnikListopadStudeni
Студени
Lystopad
Листопад
DecemberStuden
Студень
Sniežań
Снежань
Studen
Студен
ProsinacProsinecHodownikGrudzieńKoledar
Коледар
Hruden
Грудень

Ynglist calendar of months

Ynglism has a different structure of time distinguishing it from mainstream Rodnovery. According to Ynglist teachings, the structure of the year is itself a phenomenon reflecting the order of the supreme God, his action which is Yngly. Each month's name may also be written as a compound of two Ynglist runes. Ynglists claim that original Slavic months are nine, instead of twelve, and each month comprises forty or forty-one days. The first rune is either Ay (Ай), Bey (Бэй), Gey (Гэй), Day (Дай), E (Э), Vey (Вэй), Xey / Khey (Хей), or Tay (Тай), reflecting basic sounds in Indo-European tongues and representing the character of the given month. The second rune in the names is always the rune Let (Летъ), which means "year" as well as "summer", as months are phases of the year which comes to full maturity in summer. The only exception to this rule is the first month whose name is "Ramhat" (Рамхатъ), a term which refers to the beginning of Ramha's ordering action, Yngly, represented by the swastika-like first rune.[5]

NameRunic signMeaningCorresponding Latinate month(s)
Ramhat / Ramkhat
Рамхатъ
Represents the principle of divinity; Ramha/Ramkha who creates and approves a new year cycle.[5] Another symbol of this month is a hooked cross, which is the symbol of "Yngly" itself (the fiery action of the supreme God in the universe).[6]September–October
Aylet
Айлетъ
Aylet is the month of new gifts. The rune Ay means prosperity, full baskets. It is the propitious tide for weddings, for beginning building new things, and for harvests.[5]November
Beylet
Бэйлетъ
Beylet is the month of white light and peace, representing the pure radiance of divinity, glory and the rest of the soul.[5]December
Geylet
Гэйлетъ
Geylet is the month of blizzards and fierce and severe cold.[5]January–February
Daylet
Дайлетъ
Daylet is the month of the rebirth of nature; plants and animals awaken and are strengthened.[5]March
Elet
Элетъ
Elet is the month of sowing, this being the foremost meaning of the rune E. It is the sowing not only of seeds in the ground, but also of the word in people; it is therefore the month of naming and renaming of persons, for them to be born again.[5]April
Veylet
Вэйлетъ
Veylet is the month of winds. The rune Vey is an image of flying, and of blowing wind. This month is sacred to Stribog ("Wind God").[5]May–June
Xeylet
Хейлетъ
Xeylet, or spelled "Kheylet", is the month of the receipt of the gifts of nature. The rune Xey is an image of positive force. What was sown in Elet and grew throughout Veylet, is finally harvested in Xeylet.[5]July
Taylet
Тайлетъ
Taylet is the month of completion of the year, of divine creation, of full summer. The rune Tay means the top, the limit, the end of something (just like the homophonous Chinese grapheme and in words like "Taiga", literally "end of the path").[5]August

See also

Sources

Citations

  1. "Native faith: The congress of the 'Circle of Pagan Tradition' (Родная вера: съезд 'Круга языческой традиции')". Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6 June 2007.
  2. Ivanits 1989, p. 17.
  3. Aitamurto 2016, p. 67.
  4. "Кологод — природосообразность (Year's wheel – accordance with nature)". Derzhava Rus. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017.
  5. "Slavic names of the months (Славянские названия месяцев)". Derzhava Rus. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017.
  6. "Ynglism – lesson 1 (Инглиизм – урок 1)". Derzhava Rus. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017.

References

  • Ivanits, Linda J. (1989). Russian Folk Belief. M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765630889.
  • Aitamurto, Kaarina (2016). Paganism, Traditionalism, Nationalism: Narratives of Russian Rodnoverie. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781472460271.
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