"Kolede" - Tradition and customs

januar 05 2018

The term "Kolede" in Rome is used to mark the first day of the new year "Calendae Januaris". And at the old Slavs we have God Koled. He was succeeded by St. Nikola and not only in our country, but worldwide.

The word "Badnik" comes from "waking," "to stay awake" overnight. Early in the morning, before sunrise, children walk from house to house and sing Kolede songs and wish the hosts happiness and good health.

Elements of "Kolede"

"Kolede" is celebrated differently across the country, somewhere in the morning on the fifth, and somewhere on the sixth of January. In Prilep, people are gathered around the fire till early morning. The "Koledars" perform magical rituals for fertility, birth, blessing - three days before the sessions. The group of people has its own lead - Koledar. Some "Kolede" parades are masked and sang obscene songs. One custom consists of belief and religious (ritual) conduct. Beliefs are already lost, and the ritual behavior remains, which we abundantly watch on "Kolede".

prilep koleda 2

Cult elements of "Kolede" are:

1. Custom breads: "Poskura", "Turte","Maznik", "Pogacha", "Bakrdanik", bread, "Kravajche", "Zelnik" and "Zaljanik".There are also special "Kolede" cookies, and in some other countries (the Balkans) we have rich presentations of cattle, crosses, houses ...
The point of the rituals is to "activate" the grain demon, which is contained in the last class of grain - harvested in the field. The wheat itself (and sometimes a mixture of different cultures) is called "Panspermia" and has the role of assisting in the fruiting.

prilep koleda 3

2. Fire, jumping over the fire

The fire was considered as a hunter of accidents and illnesses. "Kolede fire" is taking place in late hours on January 5th. It is a tradition that only men gather there around. For the "Kolede fire", the children collect wood from the surrounding forests and neighburs. In Gevgelija everyone brings spruce branches in number as much as they have children in the house. And they prefer the spruce branches to be as big and as beautiful as possible for the children to grow large and to be rich.

In the evening, fires from the collected wood are fired. The fire take place in someone's own little house or in front of it. There were group of people wearing masks of mascots in the village, who visited all the village houses and gathered gifts in the village, and they were eating and drinking at the same night.

The fires serve for purification (cleansing of sins), as evidenced with jumping over the fire. Also, these fires should strengthen the weak sun (solar theory).

Neighborhood fires  in Prilep.

In the past older members of the community gathered around the fire, mostly men. They drank wine and hot brandy, sang and told stories, mostly erotic. After midnight, the fires went out and the men went to the country houses, singing and wishing their hosts good health, good luck and happiness. The "Koledars" wore special sticks, called "Koledashki", on which they sewed the gifts they received from the people: apples, cookies, chestnuts, and so on. Eventually, they gathered in one house and everyone ate was together.

 

Example original "Kolede" song:
Коледе леде
паднало греде
утепало деде
деде се мачи
баба го квачи
со четири јајца
гускини, шаткини.
Денес е Коледе,
утре е Божиќ
ќе колеме теле
теле вика леле
не колете мене
ќе ви купам зеље
да месите пита
да јадете сите.
Коледееееееееее…

Instead of the fire on the streets, the MOC invites believers to celebrate in the church, where Christ's birth will be glorified. Additionally, the MOC appeals to its believers in this way to prevent further air pollution during this period of extreme pollution in cities around the country.

Also, the MOC reminds that the "Kolede" fires are not a tradition that is in accordance with the tradition of the Christian faith.

Traditionally, every year Bitola Municipality organized a burning fire in the square Goce Delcev. Last year, due to air pollution, traditional calorie fire was not lit. This year, on the Goce Delchev square, the municipality will not set fire. The same situation will be in the capital of Macedonia - Skopje, where the city pollution is highest in all Europe.

OTV Prilep

Reporter: Martina Biljarovska

Kamerman Filip Stojanoski

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