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Traditional Wedding of the Mid-XXth-Century Over Vorskla Lands: From Matchmaking until Sunday (Yamne Village of Velyka Pysarivka District, Sumy Region)

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Bibliographic description:
Havrylenko, V. (2018) Traditional Wedding of the Mid-XXth-Century Over Vorskla Lands: From Matchmaking until Sunday (Yamne Village of Velyka Pysarivka District, Sumy Region). Folk Art and Etnology, 2 (372), 98–109.



a postgraduate at Philosophy Department of the Sumy State University, a head of Intangible Cultural Heritage Department of the Sumy Regional Methodological Centre for Culture and Arts





Traditional wedding ritual of Sumy Over Vorskla Lands is considered by way of example of Yamne village, Velyka Pysarivka district. The investigation is aimed to explain the preparatory stage and Saturday wedding rituals in Yamne village according to the mid-XXth century.

The article is based on the materials of folklore expeditions, carried out by the authoress in 2012–2016 in the indicated village. First of all, the specific features of wedding songs are distinguished. Thus, two types of ritual chants have been detected. Such chants are used to present short lyrics related to concrete situations: invitation to the wedding, visit to the mother-in-law, the bride redemption, bridecake cutting, flower sewing, etc. Other typical chant has been used in lyrical wedding songs devoted to the bride farewell with the maiden life, breaking away the native house, posad ritual. The absence of specific exclamations (hukanki) in the ends of verses is a typical feature over Vorskla lands wedding songs.

The next part of the article is the description of the matchmaking. It is the indispensable pre-wedding event in a specific form of bargaining between bridegroom parents or matchmakers with bride parents. Traditionally the matchmaking and wedding are celebrated in the autumn.

Friday in pre-wedding preparation is devoted to the baking of the main ritual bread called korovai and shyshky. General inclination to charge married and happy women with this task is also fixed in Yamne village.

As it is emphasized in the article, Saturday is supposed to be the first wedding day in the village. It is saturated enough and a chain of compulsory actions is expected. In the morning the bride is overdressed in the traditional clothes, including wide skirt, embroidered shirt, jacket, Krolevets woven rushnyk, lots of necklaces and splendid wreath with the ribbons. The bride and the main bridesmaid visit their girlfriends and invite them to be bridesmaids. All together invite relatives. The bride says special words: My father and mother have invited you and I alsowant you to come to my wedding ceremony. Appropriate songs are sung.

On Saturday in the evening the bride and her bridesmaids visit mother-in-law to have supper at the bridegroom. The mother-in-law has to bless bride and bridegroom with a bread and give goblet and shyshka for bridesmaids. Then the bride is followed home or she can sleep at the main bridesmaid house.

The final part of the article is devoted to the description and analysis of sad wedding songs. They are called molodiachi in local tradition as they are sung for bride and bridegroom. Such songs are about the girl sorrow for her home, necessity to get used to new relatives, relationship with mother-in-law and so on. Music transcription of fixed examples is given to depict the melodic features of traditional wedding songs of Yamne village.

Conclusion. The description of matchmaking, preparatory stage and Saturday as the first wedding day is a result of investigation. Sequence of actions and the examples of appropriate songs are presented according to the custom of Yamne wedding in the mid-XXth century.



svaiba (wedding), newly married couple, bridesmaids, wedding songs, wedding chant.



  1. DUBRAVINA, V., ed. RitualsongsofSlobozhanshchyna (Sumyregion). Sumy: Universytetska knyha, 2005, 446 pp.
  2. Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. Available from:
  3. Yamne. Available from: