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Why in Russia in the old days they changed their name several times throughout life and other strange rituals
Why in Russia in the old days they changed their name several times throughout life and other strange rituals

Russian culture is rich in its own traditions, ceremonies and rituals. Most of them appeared from the time of ancient Russia, when paganism still reigned, and were passed down from generation to generation. Almost all rituals are associated with the unity of man and nature. Our ancestors believed in the powers of gods and spirits, so many rituals were of a mystical nature. The most important ceremonies were associated with the birth of a person, initiation into adulthood, and the creation of a family. Our ancestors believed that if the ritual is not carried out, then the person will fail, and life will pass in torment.


The Slavs were very serious about the choice of the name, as they believed that it determines the fate of a person, and also protects from evil spirits. Therefore, the naming rite was one of the main and important holidays.

The naming ceremony took place several times during a person's life. The first name was given to the newborn by the parents, it was mainly the father who decided. This usually happened on the third, but no later than the sixteenth day after the birth of the child. This name was temporary, childish. The father took the child in his arms, showed him to the sun, called the name, and thus introduced the child to the heavenly body.

Naming is an important event in the life of every person

In the old days, children, especially boys, were given two names at once. The first one is false, worldly, which everyone knew. The second is secret, for a narrow circle of people. The secret name was kept secret to protect the child from evil spirits and bad people who want to harm the baby.

In Russia, they tried not to name the child after the father, grandfather, sister and other people living in the same house. It was believed that any person, depending on his name, has his own guardian angel. And, if several people with the same name lived in the same house, then he may not protect each of them.

Upon reaching a certain age, the child received an adult name. The age of the second naming depended on which caste the child belonged to. At nine years old, they performed a ceremony for the future sorcerer, at twelve - for a warrior, at sixteen - for everyone else.

Adult names were received from healers, priests or magi. The name was given in accordance with the inclinations and abilities that the child had already clearly manifested by this age. If the parents guessed the purpose of the child in the child's name, then this name did not change. And then only a secret name was added, which only two knew - the priest and the man. Even the parents were not told the secret of their child's name.

The rite of the adult naming took place in the water

The naming ritual took place in the water. Moreover, for girls in any body of water, and for guys exclusively in flowing water (in a river or stream). The priests “washed off” children's names, sprinkling them with sacred water, thereby cleansing them from children's sins. The dubbed must have a burning sacred candle in his hands. After the words of the priest, uttered in a trance, the person plunged headlong, continuing to hold the candle on his outstretched hand so that the fire would not go out.

As a result, purified, innocent and nameless people came out of the waters. The candle from this rite was kept in a secret place so that no one could touch it. It could then be lit in difficult times or in case of illness, since it is charged with the positive energy of a person.

After the assignment of an adult name, boys and girls became adults and also received the right to vote in their community. From that moment on, they themselves were responsible for their actions and words. Now new members of society had to learn from their parents in order to take care and help them in old age.

Over time, the names could change several more times, for example, during marriage, during serious illnesses, after heroic deeds and other significant events in a person's life.

Wedding ceremony

Our ancestors followed special traditions when creating a family. These ceremonies took place in several stages: matchmaking and bride, conspiracy, bachelorette and bachelor parties, weddings, weddings, wedding nights and bends. The wedding celebration lasted from three to seven days of festivities.

Preparing the bride for matchmaking and bridegroom

Matchmaking was necessary in order for the groom's parents to find out whether the bride is good, what her dowry is, and what conditions the groom must fulfill in order for the wedding to take place. The bride's parents assessed the groom's well-being, whether he would be able to provide for their daughter.

Painting by G.G. Myasoedov "Bride's Bride"

The bridegroom was held only if the families of the bride and groom did not know each other before, for example, they lived in different villages. At the bridegroom, the household of the bride was assessed, who met the guests, served dishes prepared with her own hands. Moreover, her face should be covered with a veil.

During the conspiracy, there was an oral discussion of the wedding. And they also figured out what the bride would receive as a dowry, and what would get from the groom's family. During the conspiracy, the rite of arms was still taking place. The fathers of the young people tied their hands with kerchiefs, and beat each other on the arms, saying: “Your son is our son. Your daughter is our daughter. " It was believed that after this ceremony it was no longer possible to refuse the wedding. Now the bride has to sit at home, grieve about girlhood and wait for the wedding. But before getting married, a young man should walk around with his friends to his heart's content.

The bride spent the bachelorette party three days before the wedding. Friends, relatives and all the women in the village came to see him. The main attribute of the bachelorette party was the "symbol of beauty." It could be any item related to hair: a wreath, ribbon, comb, scarf, and so on. After transferring this symbol to a younger sister or an unmarried girlfriend, the bride loses her girlhood. Sometimes the bride could even have her braid cut off, which was then passed on to the groom. At the bachelorette party, the girlfriends sang funny and sad songs, to which the bride wailed and groaned. Sometimes they even called a special voucher, which "howled" about parting with the parental home, youth and carefree life of the bride. The future wife must certainly cry and grieve while listening to these songs. After the bachelorette party, the bride went to the bathhouse, where she was washed before the wedding.

The bachelor party was much more fun than the bachelorette party. The groom and his friends arranged incendiary festivities and Cossack fun. In general, the future spouse had to walk up to its fullest before his wedding.

During the wedding, the parents blessed the young with an ancient icon, which was inherited. After the wedding, the bride's hair was braided and her head covered with a scarf. From that moment on, only the husband could see the bride's hair. Previously, it was believed that if a girl appeared to a stranger with a bare head, then this was tantamount to treason.

Wedding feast in Russia

After the wedding, the young couple was taken to the groom's house, where a magnificent wedding took place. Basically, they had a feast, to which the whole village was invited. After the festivities, the young people had their wedding night. On the wedding bed, the newlyweds shared a wedding loaf, and in the old version - fried chicken. Sometimes, on their wedding night, the young were sent to the hayloft, which was a symbol of fertility, allegedly hinting to the young not to drag out with the offspring.

The end of the wedding was considered to be a bend - a joint visit by the newlyweds of the bride's parents. This ceremony emphasized that now the bride in her parents' house is just a guest.

Home construction

Our ancestors were very superstitious people.Even in order to start building a house, they performed whole ritual ceremonies. The plot of land for new housing was chosen very carefully. The hut could not be built in those places where there used to be a cemetery, a bathhouse or a road. Also forbidden were places where someone's bones were found or blood was shed, even if from a slight cut.

To understand what place was favorable for building a house, the Slavs released a cow and waited for it to lie on the ground. It was that place that was considered successful for the start of construction.

Building a house in Russia was a whole rite

In some villages there was a ritual of choosing a place for construction using stones. The owner of the future house collected four stones from different places, and laid out a quadrangle from them on the land plot. If the stones were not touched for three days, then the place was considered a good place for a home.

They could also choose with the help of spiders. A cast iron pot with a spider was placed on the land plot, and if he weaved a web, then the place was suitable for living.

After choosing a place, calculations were made, and then a young tree was planted in the very center of the house, or a cross was hammered in, which was not removed until the end of construction.

There were also sacrifices during the construction of the house. In the early stages, the Slavs had a person as a victim. But over time, instead of a person, they began to use a horse, rooster, ram or any other livestock. It was believed that the bones of the victim must be embedded in the foundation. But, fortunately, later the victim became bloodless and had a symbolic character. Grain and coins were thrown for wealth, wool - for comfort and warmth, incense - for protection from evil spells and spirits.

After the completion of construction, the family waited a week without moving into the new house. Seven days later, they arranged a housewarming party. Particular attention was paid to carpenters and builders during the celebration. Neighbors and the luckiest people were also invited to help attract happiness to new possessions.

The owners were the first to launch a cat or a rooster into the house, and leave it there for a couple of days. If everything was fine with the animal, then the family boldly moved into a new house. And the oldest representatives of the family were the first to enter. In Russia, it was believed who was the first to enter a new house, the first one would go to another world.

A cat was first launched into a new home for a few days

Entering the house, new tenants also tried to appease the spirit of the new house - the brownie, bringing him various treats, which they left in the place where there was a cross or a young tree during the construction, that is, in the very center of the house.

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