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A candle was burning on the table

The ceremony “A Candle” is an ancient ceremony of Kostyushkovichi agritownship, Krichev district. This Christmas became an important reason for local residents to gather together at the table, burn candles and pray for health of their nearest and dearest. Pople say that the ceremony protects the residents from evil spirits and problems.

Lyudmila Tolpygo, head of the Kostyushkovichi culture club, collected the Belarusian folklore. She managed to gather local people, her friends and acquaintances in an amateur folklore group “Dobrast”.

Kostyushkovichi agritownship appeared to get 4 ceremonial candles – Ilyinskaya, Kazanskaya, Duhovskaya, Imennaya. The Kazanskaya candle travels from house to house when it is the right day.

Lyudmila Tolpygo says that the ceremony takes place once a year. The keepers of the candle lengthen it with wax and make clothes for it.  The clothes are typically a bright linen dress decorated with ribbons.  In the morning the candle is taken to church to sanctify. Then it returns back to the house where guests gather. An improvised seeing-off starts with a triple walk with the icon around the festive table. The guests pray and sing religious songs. Then they start a meal.

The people whose houses are visited by the candle hold great responsibilities: they should restrain their temper. The candle helps take away bad intentions and thoughts.

Kostyushkovichi has revived the ceremony of “Zaruchiny”: a local girl was proposed to a Krichev boy as a wife. The wedding was held in the national costumes and to Belarusian songs. 

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