Wednesday May 25, 2022
Wednesday May 25, 2022

Ukrainians observe pagan-rooted new year festival


Nepalnews
2022 Jan 23, 16:28, Ukraine
Participants, dressed in traditional costumes, dance while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP

Dressed as goats, bears, oxen and cranes, many Ukrainians ring in the new year in the colorful rituals of the Malanka holiday.

Malanka, which draws on pagan folk tales, marks the new year according to the Julian calendar, meaning it falls on Jan. 13-14.

In the festivities, celebrants go from house to house, where the dwellers offer them food. According to tradition, a household should have 12 dishes on offer — one for each month of the year. Pancakes, pies and cheese dumplings are common dishes for the holiday.

The celebrations stem from a pagan myth about Malanka, a daughter of the Slavic deity Lada, who was once kidnapped by an evil snake and locked up in the underworld before being rescued.

One of the most famous rituals is the driving of a man dressed as a goat, symbolizing a dying and resurrecting deity. In some areas, homeowners will burn straw and a didukh — a decoration made from a sheaf of wheat — to symbolize the death of everything bad.

Ivan Perchek dresses in a traditional bear costume ahead of the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. 
Photo: AP
Ivan Perchek dresses in a traditional bear costume ahead of the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Photo: AP
A villager, dressed in a traditional bear costume, celebrates the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. 
Photo: AP
A villager, dressed in a traditional bear costume, celebrates the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP
Children dressed in bear costumes, pose for a photo while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Photo: AP
Children dressed in bear costumes, pose for a photo while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP
Participants, dressed in traditional costumes, cross a bridge while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. 
Photo: AP
Participants, dressed in traditional costumes, cross a bridge while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP
A participant, dressed in a traditional costume, leans on a windowsill while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. 
Photo: AP
A participant, dressed in a traditional costume, leans on a windowsill while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP
Participants, dressed in traditional costumes, celebrate the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Photo: AP
Participants, dressed in traditional costumes, celebrate the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Photo: AP
Children, dressed in traditional costumes, pose for a photo while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
Photo: AP
Children, dressed in traditional costumes, pose for a photo while celebrating the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Photo: AP
Villagers decorate bear costumes in preparation for the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.
Photo: AP
Villagers decorate bear costumes in preparation for the Malanka festival in the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Photo: AP
Dressed goats bears oxen Ukrainians ring Malanka holiday Julian calendar New Year Pancakes pies
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