“Pull the kolyada on the oak tree”
The rite of “Pulling a Kolyada on an oak tree” is listed in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage. Nina Klimovich, an enthusiast and keeper of the traditions of the rite, managed to record memories of Christmas celebrations and an outlandish rite from the old women – residents of the village of Noviny in the Berezinsky district. And every year from January 6 to 21, Christmas carols are held in Noviny and the surrounding villages, reminiscent of Gogol’s evenings on a farm near Dikanka. “They pull the Kolyada to the oak tree” always on the same day – January 21: this ends the cycle of Christmas celebrations. “Sheaf-kolyada” – either a pagan deity, or the image of a woman in labor, is dragged to a lonely oak tree in a field far beyond the village for good luck and for the harvest. A strong guy is assigned to do this, and the women around become a round dance and sing songs addressed to Kolyada. From the oak, the remnants of kutia will be scattered-to a good harvest, a fire will be lit from straw. And then sledding and swinging in the snow will begin. After saying goodbye to the Carols, they will begin to prepare for Maslenitsa.