Belarusians Welcome Spring

On March 21, 2015, astronomical spring will come to Belarus. The vernal equinox signals the beginning of nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere that starts to tilt toward the sun, which means longer, sunnier days.

On that day, Belarusians celebrate Kamaeditsa, also known as Gukanne Vyasny (Calling of Spring), a holiday to say farewell to winter and welcome spring. People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years, and today the festival is viewed as a rejoicing of the nature’s renewal. The festival is traditionally accompanied by ritual spring songs, dances, and games. People chase away the winter, call the spring to come soon, and praise the warm spring sunshine.

This weekend, Belarusians are invited to participate in one of the most enchanting Belarusian holidays that will be held in different parts of the country:

  • On March 21,  Dudutki Museum of ancient craft and technologies  (Pukhovichi district, Minsk region)  offers a festival that includes spring calling songs, dancing in a ring, master classes in vytsinanka (paper lace cutting art), and performances of folk music and dance bands.
  • On March 21,  Panski Mayontak Sula  (Master’s Estate of Sula), located in  Stolbtsy district, Minsk region, proposes to meet for Spring Solstice party aimed at inviting Lelya, a young goddess of spring and love, who will wake up the nature and bring spring and warmth with her. It is planned to bake the largest ever spring solstice potato pancake, with a diameter of two meters or more. Each participant will be able to witness a new Guinness Book record. The program also includes spring calling, creation of a stork’s nest, wakeup of a bear, traditional rites of burning up a jackstraw and purification by fire, and folk dances and music.
  • On March 20,the  Polotsk National Historical and Cultural Museum — Reserve  and a folklore music band  Vargan  (Jaw harp) invite to the holiday  Calling of Spring  to mark the nature’s rebirth. The event will take place in the  Museum of Traditional Manual Weaving of Poozerye , Polotsk, Vitebsk region.
  • On March 21,the  State Literary Museum of Yanka Kupala  and the Students' Ethnographic Association (SEA) offer a program that features traditional spring calling songs, music,dances,games, and numerous entertaining activities for young people and children. A great number of Belarusian musical bands and dancing groups will perform during the festival. In addition, the organizers will treat the guests with hot pancakes, tea, kvass, and other delicacies. The holiday will be celebrated in Viazynka, Maladzechna district, Minsk region.

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