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Transformations of the Polaznyk Reception Ceremony in the Structure of Boiky Winter Rites (Late XIXth to Early XXIst Centuries)

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The authors of the publication:
Hromova Nataliya
Bibliographic description:
Hromova, N. (2017) Transformations of the Polaznyk Reception Ceremony in the Structure of Boiky Winter Rites (Late XIXth to Early XXIst Centuries). Folk Art and Ethnology, 1 (365), 56–67.


Hromova Nataliya – a Ph.D. in History, an associate professor at Ethnology and Regional Ethnography Department of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.


Transformations of the Polaznyk Reception Ceremony in the Structure of Boiky Winter Rites (Late XIXth to Early XXIst Centuries)



The article is an attempt to investigate the changes in the ceremony of polaznyk reception, i. e. the first guest, at the place of Boiky in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. The author researches the transformations of this rite from the end of the XIXth century, when the first remembrances have been fixed about it, to nowadays, after the own field ethnographic materials.

Polaznyk reception rite is based on the so-called initial magic, or the magic of the first day. It means the faith in happy or unhappy sign at the beginning of the year, which should determine the fate of people for the following year.

Besides, different types of the first guests in Boikivshchyna are analyzed. The most ancient kind of polaznyks includes the cattle, like a ram, a horse, a cow, rarely – a dog. Nowadays, this kind of the first guest has already disappeared. Till the present, a polaznyk is thought to be the first unexpected guest who came into house on the feasts of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple, Christmas, the Old New Year, as well as a specially invited guest (a little boy) on these days. If a man first enters a house, it is a good sign, while a woman is considered to be a bad mark.



polaznyk, Christmas carol singer, Christmas, New Year, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple, Boiky, Boikivshchyna, traditions, transformations.



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