Table of contents:
- Scarecrow of winter
- Home amulet
- Rag amulet
- Doll with your own hands
- Why burnscarecrow
- Eternal renewal
- How they celebrated
- How to make a scarecrow
During the spring equinox, the Slavic people celebrate Maslenitsa. This pagan holiday means seeing off winter. It existed even before the baptism of Russia, when people worshiped idols.
Obligatory attribute of this rampant festival is Maslenitsa - a ritual doll. She personifies the evil and cold winter. Therefore, after the olive week, it is burned, thus welcoming the arrival of spring.
Scarecrow of winter
Before you make a Shrovetide doll with your own hands, you need to prepare branches, twigs, straw. And for the hair - braided oblique flax tows and a scarf on the head. A thin birch trunk is taken as a basis. It, like straw, symbolizes the lush power of vegetation. Usually, a burning doll is made large, taller than a person. A floral ornament is required on clothing. The manufacture of the Maslenitsa doll is completed by fixing it on a wooden cross and decorating it with ribbons and paper flowers.
After Shrovetide, or pancake week, the doll is burned on Forgiveness Sunday, and the Great Forty Day Lent begins until Easter itself. So close neighborsSlavs have two big holidays - pagan and Christian.
In addition to the big scarecrow, there are also small Maslenitsa for the home.
Before you make a Shrovetide doll with your own hands (small size), you need to prepare twigs, lace, colored shreds. Then the branches are tied so that outstretched arms are obtained, and the head is wound with a cord. There are a lot of shreds on her, a red scarf on top.
Little Maslenitsa is considered the daughter or younger sister of a large doll. Its height is about 20 cm. Such a doll is a homely Maslenitsa, brightly dressed up - “lives” in a red corner. She serves as a talisman and brings prosperity and happiness.
The Maslenitsa charm doll can be made from a slingshot branch. The two ends are hands raised up. A circle is fixed between them, symbolizing the Sun, pancake, solstice ("turn" to add a day), fertility.
This do-it-yourself Maslenitsa doll is made entirely of fabric or thick threads. She also protects the house and attracts good luck, but only until next year, until the next Maslenitsa holiday, where she will be burned along with a large effigy. And a new rag doll will take its place.
Doll with your own hands
The process will not take much time and effort. Before you make a Shrovetide doll with your own hands, you need to cut the fabric into strips.
The length of one part of the strips is 10 cm (for the torso). The other part, consisting of the same number of strips, should be 20 cm long. It is intended formaking head and hands.
When everything is ready, you can start making the Maslenitsa doll. To do this, a bundle of strips intended for the body is tied with threads at both ends, stepping back from the edge 1-2 cm.
The other is bent in the middle and, stepping back from the place of the fold 2-3 cm, is also tied with threads. The torso is sewn to the resulting head with arms. Its lower part is wrapped with a bright patch and secured with threads.
Now it remains to starch the doll well and thread a rather dense twig or wooden stick into the middle. You can tie a red scarf on your head - and the Maslenitsa folk doll is ready!
The bride and groom used to be met with a homemade doll. On one of the days of the pancake week, when the mother-in-law was waiting for her son-in-law for pancakes, Maslenitsa was put out the window.
People believed that such a doll protects the household from quarrels and disagreements, strengthens relationships within a large family.
Kind and cheerful Maslenitsa is still considered a family holiday today. It provides an opportunity to visit each other for pancakes for a whole week, and on Sunday ask everyone for forgiveness, cleansing your soul, and forgiving others. The seven-day holiday ends with a mass celebration with eating pancakes, climbing a pole for boots and burning an effigy of Maslenitsa. This is the end of winter, and spring comes into its own.
The Maslenitsa doll represents the cold and long winter. Therefore, when it is destroyed, people rejoice and admire. Previously, people believed that all difficulties, bitterness and resentment were burned along with the scarecrow.
Again, the doll in the form of a hospitable ruddy woman, who treated everyone with pancakes, symbolized a comfortable and well-fed life, which means good harvests. A legitimate question arises - why then destroy it? This contradiction becomes clearer if we go back to prehistoric times.
The ancient pagan Slavs, in fact, celebrated the beginning of the new agricultural year. They approached this matter on a grand scale: festivities, round dances, plentiful meals, fisticuffs. We had fun before hard work - plowing, sowing, caring for crops and livestock.
If you look from this side, the destruction of the effigy was perceived as the idea of eternal renewal. All junk collected from all yards flew into the fire: old things that had fallen into disrepair, utensils that could not be repaired, barrels, harrows, etc. It was believed that the larger the fire, the faster plowing could begin. The rite of farewell to winter was accompanied by ritual dances and chants. Thus, people got rid of all the bad things that happened last year, making room for a new, better one. Ashes from the fire were scattered across the field for a rich harvest.
People treated Maslenitsa very respectfully. Therefore, the celebrations were dedicated to her, and they burned an effigy of winter - Morena. Later, the boundaries between the two concepts were erased. Now the doll for burning is called, like the holiday, Maslenitsa.
How they celebrated
Every day of the week was celebrated in its own way.
Monday. The daughter-in-law from her husband's family went to her parents to help them with the housework, as the matchmakers should come in the evening to agree on the celebration of Maslenitsa. On this day, they baked pancakes, built snow slides for skiing and dressed up a scarecrow.
Tuesday. Young people fight for the capture of snow fortresses, ride on hills, fly up to the Sun on a swing. And most importantly, looking after a mate.
Wednesday. On this day, the son-in-law comes to visit his mother-in-law for pancakes that are baked of all stripes - buckwheat, wheat, dairy, with baking. They are served with butter, honey, jam, caviar, salmon, mushrooms and drinks.
Thursday. The effigy of Maslenitsa is carried through the streets, songs of praise are sung, carols are sung. In some villages and villages, this tradition has been preserved to this day.
Friday. On this day, the mother-in-law with all her relatives treats herself to pancakes from her son-in-law, who thus shows how respectful he is towards them.
Saturday. The daughter-in-law gives gifts to the sisters-in-law - the husband's sisters. The most impatient burn effigies, scatter the ashes across the field.
Sunday. Everyone asks each other for forgiveness and forgives. The departed are remembered. The festivities, irrepressibility in food and drink are coming to an end. The remaining scarecrows are burned. To drive away the cold, bonfires are lit on the hills, on which they rode all week. In the evening they go to the bathhouse.
Today things have shifted a bit, and the modern culmination of the holiday falls on Sunday. Therefore, people try to do as much as possible in one day,take part in all the events, eat pancakes, climb a pole for boots (felt boots are no longer needed) and watch Maslenitsa burn.
How to make a scarecrow
Before you make a Shrovetide doll with your own hands, you need to prepare everything you need. With the help of two dry wooden blocks, a hammer, nails, straw, cardboard, light linen bags for hands and head, a scarf and a dress, it is not difficult to make a scarecrow.
Shrovetide scarecrow is made in the same way as a garden scarecrow. Two dry bars need to be knocked down with a cross: the long one is the base, the short one is the future hands.
Flammable materials are paper and straw (dry grass). They need to be tied with twine to the cross, forming the body of the doll. If there is no straw, brooms will do.
For the head, a linen bag of a light shade is taken, stuffed with grass or paper. A bright, preferably red, scarf is tied up on top. If the bag is not found, then you can simply wrap the straw with white paper. The scarf will support the head so that it does not fall apart ahead of time, and its ends will help fix it on the body.
An old dress with long sleeves is put on the scarecrow. If you want to make the doll more believable, then you can make voluminous hands. To do this, you need to fill two elongated bags with straw and put them on the short ends of the stick, and pull the hands with twine. You can also wear a sundress on such a scarecrow.
Maslenitsa, one of the few dolls that is allowed to, can draw a face. Red lips and rosy cheeks will contrast well with the snow. Eyes, as usualdrawn closed.
The braids are woven from strips of yellow fabric or paper, decorated with bright bows.