Dazhbozhy Velikoden, Maslyana, Komoditsa are the names of the Vernal Equinox Day, one of the four main holidays of the calendar of the Ancient Slavs.

day of spring equinox
The history of this holiday goes back to the grayold times, to archaic pagan times. It was believed that on this day on March 25 (berezozole) the annual wheel turned to summer, the light (clear) half of the year began. The ancients believed that the heavenly gates were opened on that day, and the good gods returned to the people, and from the paradise (Iria) the souls of the departed ancestors flew on the bird wings to visit their grandchildren. And most of the Slavic peoples considered this day the beginning of the new year.

Indeed, the day of the vernal equinox is a holiday of cosmic significance, since from that date the day grew longer than the night.

The celebration of Maslyana was accompanied by a voluminous,often a multi-day, ritual part. The most important was the call for spring. In different regions of Russia the course of the celebration could differ to some extent, however, there were characteristic common features.

The very celebration, as a rule, took place onfresh air. Young people were divided into 2 conventional troops, one of which "extracted" the Spring, and the other bore the Winter, but in the end, of course, gave up. If the weather permitted, a snow fortress was built and attacked. There were demonstration battles between "warriors" on both sides, but the supporters of Spring certainly won. The struggle of spring and winter, cold and heat was not accidentally celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, when both day and night are struggling, measured by forces. As the logical conclusion of the "war", and as the main meaning of the festive rite, in the end the effigy of Marena-Winter, made by girls from straw and rags, was burned. The fire of the sting fire burned, and with it the burning winter burned, giving way to the young Spring.

vernal equinox

Everywhere on Komoditsu baked pancakes - "coma"(hence the name). A ruddy round blinch represents the Sun. Another treat is small buns, twisted in a special way in the form of birds, as a symbol of migratory birds returning from Iria, as it was then believed. In general, the Slavonic meal on the vernal equinox was generous and rich. In addition to pancakes and bread rolls, a variety of meat and fish dishes, baked goods, sweets, and intoxicating beverages were served.

day of the vernal equinox among the Slavs
With the advent of the Christianity of Carnival in Russia, as well asother ancient holidays, fell under the ban. However, for several centuries the people continued to celebrate the vernal equinox, as, indeed, most other holidays. And only in the XVII century the interest of the church to the persecution of the ancient holidays gradually subsided. Having ceased to be considered "demonic fun", Maslenitsa was filled with a new meaning - Orthodox. Even an obviously pagan (idolatrous) custom of burning a scarecrow of winter is preserved. Becoming part of the Orthodox calendar, the Shrovetide festival no longer coincides with the date of the equinox and bears only a ceremonial load - after a rich and generous Maslenitsa table one of the most strict posts begins.

Today, the ancient, primordially Russian holiday is loved andwe esteem by many. The celebration of Maslenitsa, which preserved all the echoes of the ancient veneration of the vernal equinox, has been happening lately, attracting a huge number of participants.

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