On the longest & darkest night of the year, when the world is cold, and the sun shows itself just for a few hours, we all need something to raise our spirits.

In many cultures, this transitional time between the waning and waxing sun is seen as magical. Slavic countries aren’t an exception.

Slavic winter solstice FESTIVAL
Koleda

Even before the advent of Christianity, our ancestors celebrated «Koleda,» a winter solstice festival. Koleda is a holiday filled with rituals to welcome back the sun, banish evil, bring abundance, and honor our forefathers and foremothers.

 

On January 8, 2023, we celebrated Koleda in the Latvian Community Center. We reveled in joy, feasted, dressed up as animals and magical creatures, sang carols, danced, told fortunes, and much more. Our hearts’ warmth and the community’s strength helped us pass the year’s longest nights!

The festival brought together unique Eastern European traditions from Ukraine, Belarus & Russia.

 

The festivities included the following:

  • Entertainment by skomorokhs & mummers
  • “Welcoming into a Home” ceremony with Olena Bilyk (Ukraine)
  • Traditional foods by Nadia Huliychuk (kutya, pirozhki, uzvar)
  • Variety of traditional craft vendors
  • Traditional crafts workshops (making Koleda stars, block printing, Angel Christmas tree ornaments, and animal masks)
  • Songs, carols, and dancing from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia
  • Musical performance by Siarhei Douhushau, a renowned Belarusian folk artist
  • Dancing around the bonfire.
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Enrich me culturally
In Dionysus we rejoyce
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