Calling of Spring ancient custom revived in Grodno Region
“It has long been believed in our country that storks fly for the Feast of the Annunciation, bringing spring on their wings. For a long time, on the eve of the holiday, young people gathered outside the settlement and began calling the spring,” says the leading methodologist of the Grodno District Cultural and Information Centre, Natalia Romanovich. “They sing ritual spring songs and dance. Our ancestors used to say that ‘wherever the round dance is, there will be the rye harvest’, and spring – as a rule – responds to them via the first thunder and warm thunderstorms, after which everything in nature quickly awakens to life."
Tomorrow at 12 o’clock, Mother’s Song folk song theatre of the Zhitomlya House of Folklore and the Zhivitsa folklore ensemble of the Kvasovka Centre for Culture and Development of Folk Art will join all guests of the Gukanne Vyasny (Calling of Spring) holiday to encourage spring to come by singing traditional spring songs in the park of the ancient village of Zhitomlya, in the Grodno Region.
This is one of the most musical folk holidays. The peculiarity of spring calling songs is that each verse ends with a lingering sound ‘gu-u-u-u-u’. During the Annunciation, Winter gives way to Spring. Participants and spectators will surely tie a lot of multi-coloured ribbons – small symbols of bright spring – on small trees. They will also throw on towels cookies in the form of birds – ‘larks’ – imitating their arrival and will throw stones in the air to meet expectations. Guests of the holiday will make brand new multi-coloured birdhouses in order to later hang them in the park and wait for the birds. The rite was revived by leading folklore groups three years ago.