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    I got into a little disagreement on FB with Baba from Baba’s Kitchen.  :p Her recipes are great but some of the other stuff she claims about Ukrainian traditions often seems suspect. I am confused by Baba’s responses. How did our ancient ancestors honor their dead? Should I be throwing egg shells in the river?

    Baba claimed:

    Did you know: is Ukrainian tradition to visit loved ones’ graves on Easter Sunday, taking along lunch and krashanky.

    I said to Baba: Actually, in Orthodox Church, it is the Sunday after Easter, St. Thomas Sunday, when everyone visits the cemeteries and remembers their deceased loved ones.

    Baba’s response:

    That is the newer, religious practice. The church discourages ancient tradition of visiting graves on Easter Sunday, saying this day should be reserved to honour Christ. However, ancient tradition was dancing and honouring ancestors in forest and at their graves. 

    One way we know this is true, is because food from Easter basket was taken to graves and “fed” to ancestors. You do not feed week old, spoiled food to ancestors or share among family. Nor are you permitted to make more krashanky after Easter, just for this occasion. 

    They are made beforehand, eaten and fed to ancestors same day—fresh. Shells are then thrown in river to honour source of life. Again, why church discourages on Easter Sunday.



    I’m not familiar with paganism…
    Try to look for some sources.
    For example:

    Krasnaja gorka (the first Sunday following Easter) – the festival itself was older than Easter, and it included the burning of a doll symbolising Marena, Slavic goddess of winter and death.
    Radunica (the second Tuesday following Easter) – the festival also known as the Day of the Dead. On this day, offerings were made to the dead, and those most frequently consisted of eggs.

    Source: http://www.starisloveni.com/English/Festivals.html



    We should make witch burning great again.




    Baba is right to some extent. Eastern Slavs honour deceased in spring that falls on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday after Easter. It’s called ‘radunitsa’ in Belarus or ‘provody’ in Ukraine.

    Southern Russians (possibly certain Ukrainians in the neighbouring regions) honoured deceased on Easter (Sunday).

    Provody in Ukraine (1877)



    Provody. Memorial services for the deceased that were held during the so-called Mavka week immediately after Easter. They were usually held on the Sunday or Monday following Easter. In some cases they were held on Holy Thursday. In Bukovyna they took place on the Saturday following Easter; in Galicia, on the Friday or Saturday following Easter. Participants gathered at the cemetery, bringing Easter eggs, bread, bowls of food, and liquor or wine. After a commemoration service they ate a meal at the graves, where they left some of the food and drink for the dead. In some regions the provody concluded with games and dancing. The first Monday after Pentecost, when the rusalky were conducted away from the village and the sown fields, was also known as provody. (See also Ancestor worship.)


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