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The folk calendar celebrations realized due to authors sceneries and director management of Ivanna Nechay.

Ivanna Nechay - a musical sorceress from Odessa, author and performer of her own songs, written in direction of urban music shamanism, soloist of the folk ensemble "Mosaic" at the Odessa Regional Philharmonic Society, the organizer and producer of the International ethno-ecological festival "Slavic Zen", reconstructor and director of the Old Slavonic holidays such as Ivan Kupala, Shrovetide, Christmas Eve, The Harvest celebration, Praising of the Mother Earth (Makosh), The Perun Day, etc.
Since 2013 she has been a teacher of the International School of Folk Culture, Arts and Crafts "Slavic way" in Nessebar, Bulgaria, where she spent the creative meetings and workshops on Slavic ritual culture, folklore.
Since 2010, has toured with her music projects and exclusive ethno-evenings in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Germany and France; widely popularized the ancient Slavic culture, concerts and ethno-cultural evenings, plunging her contemporaries in the world of fairy tales and legends, charming beingness of ancient ancestors.

I attract common people to my celebrations. I just gather my team in the net among the volunteers whore ready to become real actors for a night. I write sceneries, texts, we meet and we rehearse. For responsible roles which require sport tricks or professional acting the professionals are invited. Though anyone whos interested in the celebration gets through, because its a real plunge into the fabulous world of the epic and fairy-tales. Volunteers are working as animators involving all the spectators in the action. Eventually the celebration is becoming a real theatre play where everybodys having his role, his place in the performance. It makes people happy. Its really encouraging to watch video and photo stuff afterwards and see our participants eyes beaming and their wide childish smiles The people transform during the celebration. They become taking care about each other and about the Nature. On my opinion, behind such celebrations there is a Slavonic spiritual revival.

Ivanna Nechay
The Week of Shrovetide or the Pancake Week



The Spring Equinox or the Nascence of the Spring Sun, called Yarilo, that is well-known from the Snow-Maiden fairy-tale happens on 21st of March and opens the Swarga (the Heaven) for Spring and warm coming. That time Slavic people celebrated The Week of Shrovetide. All the rite actions of this multistep ethnical pagan celebration were reduced to the fertility stimulation and symbolic attributes of The Week of Shrovetide were Shrovetides golliwogs and pancake feasts. It includes fistfights, racing, indispensable honoring the memory of ancestors died, fairs, mass celebrations with callings of the Spring, the goddess Jiva, sun heat and grace Summer.
How to celebrate The Week of Shrovetide in conditions of modern life with the minimum loss of the rites sense Ivanna knows. The brightest ethnical celebration leaves nobody indifferent and remains in memory as a joyful experience of sacrament beings ownership.
Ivan Kupalo and International Ethnical Ecology Festival Slavonic Zen





The Kupalo celebration is devoted to the Summer Solstice wide celebrated not only by Slavs but by many other Indo-European people. The base of rite actions is the Fire, the Water and the Herbs. It was believed that in Kupalo night Sun married Water and Herbs acquired special healing power. Having dew bath or experience fire purification boded the health and welfare for all the year. Besides, Kupalo was a patron of marriage, fun and fertility. At Kupalo night one could meet his soul mate. Thats why the celebration was very popular and remains so nowadays.
In Odessa Ivanna Nechay organizes annual Kupalo celebrations by her own authors sceneries. There are ethnic rite songs, round dances, folk games and funs, thematic contests, jumping through the Kupalo fire, weaving the goldilocks from fresh odorous herbs, joint making of the Kupalo golliwog, quest-game about the fern flower and Kupalo treasure searching, performance of the ethnical bands and much more in the celebrating program.
The Harvest celebration, the Tausen.



The Kins and New Mothers celebration coincides to the Autumn Equinox - the astronomical beginning of the Autumn. Series of the Autumn celebrations called Oseniny(about 2 weeks) praised Mother Earth for the Harvest, chanted the keepers of Kin, saw goddess Jiva off to Swarga (the Heaven), prepared for winter cold period, made a honey drink Suria. Older women gave the blessing to the young married ones who were going to conceive or were confined. There were also wedding preparations. Women gathered on a mount, made a fire on temple and prayed there about blessing for their families, husbands, children.
In Odessa Ivanna organizes The Kins and New Mothers celebration. There are fairs of folk craftsmen, exhibitions of home cooked pastries and loafs, The Kins and new mothers praising rite, public celebrations with dancing and singing and round dances as well, and a festive meal as a perfection. Particular program is also a childish unit where mothers can leave their kids for art and crafts studying from the best craftsmen. Childrens folk bands, mini-performances of Russian fairytales are presented to the children. Indispensable there is a final meal on the common table where every hostess brings her culinary masterpieces and treats everybody then.
Praising of the Mother Earth, Makosh

Every Autumn on the last Friday of October Ivanna carries out the Praising of Makosh Celebration. Makosh the Mother Earth - had 13 cycles of praising in a year in ancient times. She brings everybody into the world from herself, suckles everybody with herself and buries in herself too. People swore on the Earth, take a handful of the earth to foreign land, spill blood for the Earth. Makosh is also a patron of fate. The October celebration is devoted to Makosh as a fate spinner, two destiny spirits Dolia and Nedolia are submitted to her. This celebration also praises women needlework, thrift, wisdom. This day is accepted for reading fortune.
On Ivannas celebration day folk art and crafts exhibitions works, needlework master-classes are conducted. There are a lot of competitions and funny quizzes, dancing, authentic singing, gala concert and certainly cookies with a Kosh, when everybody gets his lot, prediction hidden in spicy home cooked pastries.

Photo-reports from Makosh praising celebrations are available here:

http://vk.com/album-10851644_122669438
http://vk.com/event30930019
The Christmastide, Christmas Eve

The Christmas Eve opens series of winter long-expected holidays, those are called The Christmastide. The Christmas Eve is a special celebration, that in the Eve of Christmas (in Slavonic tradition the Winter Sun Koliada is born in the Eve, that coincide Winter Solstice) opened the way to the long noisy joyful holidays full of life. The Christmas Eve indeed was celebrated quietly and modestly. There was Sochivo on a table - a dish from boiled wheat seeds, poppy, honey and dried fruits. The oldest of a Kin said prays for all the family protecting and next day people crowded streets singing carols loudly and happily, organized merrymakings, banquets, visited each other, congratulated on a Christmas, presented each other warding dolls, Christmastide cookies and certainly dressed up and went caroling, read fortunes.

Christmastide (Sviatky, Sviatye, Koliady) a Slavonic name of the 12 holly days from the star to the water, that is from the first star appearing in the Christmas Eve (on Koliada) and to Epiphany waters sanctification on 19th of January. The Christmastide is very saturated with magical rites, fortune readings, different signs, traditions and prohibitions, those regulated peoples behavior.

Mythological meaning of the Christmastide is determined by its border nature, though this time the Sun turns from Winter to the Summer, an old year finishes and a new one starts, the Savior comes and a spiritual order changes a world of a chaos. The borderline of a period between the old year and new year is related with conception about souls of dead coming to the Earth from the other world and about riot of evil spirit in the middle of the Winter. It was believed that invisible spirits presence provided a possibility to look in the future, that explains numerous forms of the Christmastide fate reading.
So, how did our ancestors celebrate Christmastide?

Ivanna Nechay brought her vision of The Christmastide to Berlin and Paris. In December 2011- January 2012 touring West Europe she conducted 2 interactive soirees in the cultural capitals of the Old Europe. The soirees such as The Christmastide with Ivanna Nechay in Berlin and The Christmas Eve with Ivanna Nechay in Paris became one of the most interesting events of that period in the cultural life of the cities. They attracted attention not only from émigrés or Russian Diaspora but also residents.

During the meetings the singer performed not her best songs only but also folk songs with all the spectators involved. In the form of game she introduced Christmastides structure and origin to the auditory, carried out common round dances, thematic contests, organized Slavonic warding dolls exhibition. The Samovars with a tea and home-cooked pastries became a wonderful ending of the soirees. People were fond of communicating and didnt hurry home after the concert. It highlights the necessity of such meetings.

Those soirees with Ivanna Nechay were covered in the mass media and in a radio programs.

On 18 of January 2014 Ivanna Nechay organized the Christmastide celebration on Odessa Fair in Deribasovskaia Street, the heart of Old Odessa. Citizens and guests of the city learned a Christmastides history, took part in the traditional Christmastide rites and regaled with delicacy of the Odessa fair.