Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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PAGAN SURVIVALS
Church. Here for instance is a fragment from a Carpathian song :
"A golden plough goes ploughing, And behind that plough is the Lord Himself. The holy Peter helps Him to drive, And the Mother of God carries the seed corn, Carries the seed corn, prays to the Lord God, ' Make, O Lord, the strong wheat to grow, The strong wheat and the vigorous corn ! The stalks then shall be like reeds !'" 34
Often they contain wishes for the prosperity of the household and end with the words, " for many years, for many years." The Roumanian songs are frequently very long, and a typical, oft-recurring refrain is :
" This evening is a great evening, White flowers ; Great evening of Christmas, White flowers." 35
Sometimes they are ballads of the national life.
In Russia a carol beginning "Glory be to God in heaven, Glory !" and calling down blessings on the Tsar and his people, is one of the most prominent among the K,olyadki, and opens the singing of the songs called Podblyudnuiya. " At the Christmas festival a table is covered with a cloth, and on it is set a dish or bowl (blyudo) containing water. The young people drop rings or other trinkets into the dish, which is afterwards covered with a cloth, and then the Podblyudnuiya Songs commence. At the end of each song one of the trinkets is drawn at random, and its owner deduces an omen from the nature of the words which have just been sung." 36
The Twelve Days.
Whatever the limits fixed for the beginning and end of the Christmas festival, its core is always the period between Christmas
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