Sunday, May 27, 2012

Belarus Folk Holidays and Celebrations

On March 1, 2009 the Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus issued a souvenir sheet “Belarus folk holidays and celebrations” prepared by the Publishing Centre “Marka” of the EUR “Belpochta”.  Brief description of the stamps on the mini sheet are given below.

Kaliady (top left) is the main winter holiday connected with the day of winter solstice. It was celebrated from the 7th till the 19th of January and later was adopted for Christmas celebration by the Christian Church.
Spring greeting (top right) is an ancient heathen ceremony opening the cycle of celebrations designed to awake mother Earth from the winter sleep. In different regions the celebration began in different days from Shrovetide till Easter.
Kupalle (lower right) is an ancient ceremony festival timed to summer solstice when the lands fertility is reaching its biggest power. Following the introduction of Christianity Kupalle was timed to the Nativity of St John the Baptist and now it is celebrated in the night from July 6 to July 7.
Dazhynki (lower left) is an ancient Belarusian holiday dedicated to harvesting. Traditionally it was celebrated on the last day of rye reaping. 

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