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The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, 2 (146), 293—302

UDK 398.33: 264-94(477)
DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2019.02.293

FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON: FOLK RELIGIOSITY IN TRADITIONAL CALENDAR RITUALISM OF UKRAINIANS AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF PRE-NEW YEAR AND PRE-CHRISTMAS PERIOD

DYAKIV Volodymyr

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9513-4364

filol. s., Senior Researcher

at the Ethnology Institute

of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,

15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine

Contacts: e-mail: V. Dyakiv@nas.gov.ua

Abstract. Introduction. The pre-Christian traditions and customs associated with the winter cycle of traditional calendar ritualism have been best preserved allowing us to trace the process of their transformation up to now.

Problem Statement. We will try to analyze the background of pre-New Year and pre-Christmas period, a sort of its prelude, the beginnings of which is traced, according to our observation, from the autumn feast of St. Simeon. Thus, using this feast as an example, we will analyze the development of peculiar folk religiosity in traditional calendar ritualism of Ukrainians against the background of pre-New Year and pre-Christmas period.

Purpose. The objective of this work is to distinguish folk and religious beliefs specific to the traditional early winter period (beginning of a new economic year etc.) and define a traditional basis and innovative changes as well as peculiarity of the development of narrative and structural components, elements and details.

Methods. The article relies mainly on comparative-typological and historical-cultural approaches as well as elements of structural-typological and geographical methods of ethnology and folklore studies.

Results. A specific development of peculiar folk religiosity in traditional calendar ritualism of Ukrainians is observed against the background of pre-New Year and pre-Christmas period starting from the St. Simeon’s feast. This opinion is supported by folk and religious beliefs specific to the traditional early winter period, in particular, the ones related to weather or other lore for the next harvest year, prediction (prophesying) of prosperity or bad harvest.

Conclusion. A peculiar development of certain folk and religious components can be distinctly traced in traditional folk and religious beliefs of Ukrainians typical of the early winter period. Later, Christianity left its mark on these beliefs. Christian beliefs were combined with the previous ones, having enhanced and complemented them with their characters, themes and plots. These folk and religious beliefs have been preserved in the spiritual traditional culture of Ukrainians for the most part quite fragmentarily, obviously, under a pernicious influence of political circumstances of warlike and atheistic nature in the 20th century and, perhaps, have been also influenced by an inter-generational transmission and globalization phenomenon in general that can be observed up to now.

Keywords: folk religiosity, feast of saint Simeon, calendar rituality, tradition, beliefs, functioning.

Received 30.01.2019

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