In late November, around the world, some people celebrate Halloween — an old Celtic festival. Meanwhile, we, Belarusians have their holiday derived from the same root as Halloween, but I think, more appropriate and kind.
This holiday is called — Dzyady. In the state calendar of holidays and celebrations, it is fixed on November 2, but generally celebrated in the last days of October and / or the first days of November. Popular calendar in such cases is not always accurately recorded — the date can vary from village to village.
Let's start with the translation. It is not difficult to guess Dziady — it grandfathers in Russian. Dziady called both the ancestors ("geta were pry Dziady yashche"), and their souls ("Jana glyazdyats for taboy"). Generally after Dziady walked almost every quarter: Pancake Day at Radaunitsu, the Trinity, Petrovka Dziady, zmitrovskie. The most important were Dziady autumn.
At the heart of the holiday — dinner in memory of deceased ancestors. On this day, all bathed in a bath house and be sure to leave a little water and a broom for ancestors.
Then he prepared a rich dinner. Ancestors had lavishly entertain and have fun, as it should, or they might take offense and had taken no different crops and misery.
Before you sit down at the table, the host (that is the main man in the house) went around the holiday table with a candle in his hand, opened the door and okra and called by name to join the ancestors.
Dishes were different numbers, where even where not even. Notions about them, too, were different — some places are allowed to eat only three meals and drink only three goblets.
Sure that was on the table, it's grandfather's grandfather's cup and bowl, where each of those present cast a drink, and put off the food. Literally, that put themselves (and food, mind you, there were many), and those with a shared ancestor. Many villages and towns were left remains of the feast on the table, because they thought that the ancestors can stay at the table until the morning.
During the dinner, spoke only of the ancestors, and remember their deeds, achievements, funny stories, tips.
After dinner, the owner said (give in translation): "The holy forefathers, you came here, drinking, eating, fly Well now to yourself." This, of course, does not guarantee that the ancestors are gone, but gave the go-ahead divination — a burning candle extinguished pancakes or bread and watch where the smoke goes. If you go up, then it's good, and if in the side and, in particular, towards the door — this is bad. To the dead, therefore.
After dinner entertainment started ancestors. Entertained them in a simple way — dancing, singing, masquerade (much, incidentally, was a popular entertainment). Which were richer fireworks. It was believed that if the night after dinner that day not sleep, you can see Dzyady. About as.
Actually, our masquerades at Dziady totally and absolutely equal in overseas Masquerade Halloween.
However, there is one "but". On Halloween people disguise themselves in masks and costumes to scare away the spirits, or at least like them. This ensures survival — perfume or run away, or recognize their own. In any case — will not touch.
And our Forefathers Eve Masquerade needed to ancestors saw — after death, life goes, born alive, members of the genus fun. From this and you can have fun by. Like it or not, and at times obtained Dziady humane and kind.
But back to the description of the holiday.
In some parts of the holiday visiting the cemetery. Clean the graves, corrected fence, crosses etc. Left on the graves treat.
Sometimes, just who is in honor of each of the deceased bred separate fire — live at the grave. They brought in a pot coals, burning firewood from them, and the pot is broken.
Now a little bit modern perspective on this holiday.
Any symbolic actions (and the holidays — this is the most symbolic actions) that could hold more than a century, I think, does the society any important function.
If you come to Dziady from this position, its function seems to be to introduce people to death. Well, that is helping to terms with it, to understand that all will be there.
After all, death is removed from the people. Living in a big city, we rarely encounter it here so peacefully. Yes, accidents, disasters — it is. But this terrible death. And there, in the cemetery, it just is. But already at the table with a rich dinner (which was all a few times a year) and generally tolerant of looks.
Plus — remember ancestors, tell them the younger generation. Think about the ancestors, not to forget who they are and where (imagine how well people can know their ancestors, if all had to call by name?).
In short, it is very important and useful holiday.