"Vozhdenie Suly": a gift from antiquity

Address: Gomel Region, Markovichi village
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Do you know what "Vozhdenie Suly" is? This Belarusian rite was held in the village of Markovichi, Gomel region. Sula is a spear, a throwing weapon. Perhaps an arrow or a sula, which was thrown into the crowd of men, was a lot: the "victim" of arrow was given to the pagan god of fertility. But this is just a guess.

The rite "Sula or Strela" is a magic round dance, which is dedicated to the fertility of the field and the protection of people, dwellings and domestic animals from the sky anger. Women and girls took arms up and walked along the village, blocking the entire street.

The tradition was interrupted due to strict prohibitions of representatives of the authorities and the church 50 years ago in 1967, and was restored only 40 years later in Markovichi (it disappeared forever in other places). The church still has a negative attitude towards popular rituals and them pagan. But paganism sunk into oblivion, leaving the centuries-old ethnic culture to everyone in the world.

This year, the rite was held for the 11th time. Even very young children attend "Sula"! They symbolize the seeds of rye that will harvest, thanks to the sun's warmth and the heavenly moisture. The sky gives life, but it is also a source of danger during a thunderstorm. "Sula" helps to send rain to the growth of the harvest and еo save people from trouble.

Photo by Alfred MIKUS

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