Here is a holiday greetings that I sent out to some friends in the form
of a persona story. I hope you enjoy it as the great day approaches.
The hills sparkle with fresh snowfall. The night sky is crystal clear
the star are shining brightly. There is a very gentle breeze that
the landscape and the great manor.
Outside Singers old and young have gathered together into the courtyard
the noble's manor and now stand assembled before the great oaken doors.
bear bardyky(axes with bells attached) and have approached singing and
dancing( with small hopping movements).
Andrei tugs on his older brother's sleeve impatiently, "Boris?", he
Boris looks down rather sternly, takes a deep breath remembering the
solemnity of the day and softens his gaze, "Andrei Sviatoslavich be
all things come to those who wait." He smiles and ruffles the young boys
hair. "Now pay attention..."
The bereza (leader) of the singers bearing a birch-wood cross comes to
and all dancing and singing stops. As one the entire vataha (group) bows
three times before the doors. The bereza leads the song with the whole
vataha joining in singing the refrain, "Oi dai Bozhe (Oh, God Grant
all the while ringing their bells and stamping their feet.
The bolts are lifted and the oaken doors swing open, the head of the
household, The Master invites them into main hall. A strand of flax is
the birch before it enters the household. Thus we commemorate our
on this holy day.
"Christos Rhosdietstya!(Christ is Born) Come in! Come in! Warm
take your ease at the table and join us for some warm cider and
pampushki (treats).", the Master invites joyfully.
"Slavietoyoho!(Salutations)", they robustly respond and shuffle into the
hall. Servants take cloaks and wraps away and they join the assembled
and guests. One by one each guest of the hall is approached by members
the vataha and asked their preference. In turn a carol or a dance is
performed until each in the hall has been thus served. Meanwhile the
are served as much food and drink as they will.
Andrei's eyes are wide open taking in the grand hall before him, the
hearths, fresh straw placed beneath the tables on which 12 traditional
dishes are arrayed. He sees the place of honour with the didkh and
glittering golden holy icon of the Holy Mother and Baby ... it's beauty
takes his breath away. He watches with pride as his brother Boris sings,
"Boh Prevechni", his favorite carol. In turn he joins two other young
and three young girls in a partnered folk dance.
The Master of the House rises and calls the dancers forth, he gives
each a glass bead of
intricate design as showing his special pleasure with their performance.
"Well done Andrei!", Boris replies when they rejoin the vahata. Andrei
smiling widley and can't wait to tell Mama and Dadu when he gets home.
With all cheered in the hall by good song and dance the vataha rise and
gather at the end of the hall. The bereza steps forward and they all
"May God Watch and Grant Good Health Unto This House the Year Round!"
The Master if the House rises and brings forth the koliada (the
traditional gift for the choral
group), "And May He Be With You and Yours".
The vataha all begin to dance and sing and moving outside they form a
around the Master of the House, who accompanied with his own fiddler,
a final round that leads to the bereza with cross leading the spiraling
vataha out of the courtyard and on down the road to the next manor.
Standing at the gates gazing out on the hills and manors beyond the
Master of the House sends
his own quiet salutation out to - Castel Rouge, Carraig Ban, Households
Friends, Northshield and lands beyond ... "Christos
The Master signals for the gates to be closed. He returns to his guests
in the main
hall with happy musings on what the new year will bring.
Translated from Old Church Salvonic this January.
Master Aleksandr Vasilevych Lev,"elf-counsel" "truth-speaker"
Barony of Castel Rouge
Region of the Plains
Kingdom of Northshield