Kaliada Star

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Kaliada Star Ornament

While some Slavic cultures have Christian names for the holidays, the Belarusans name their holidays by their ancient pagan ways. Easter is Vialikdzen as in The Great Day, and Saint Ivan (St. John the Baptist Day) steps aside for Koupalle as in the Summer Solstice Day. And so why should Christmas be any different? Belarusans call it Kaliady.
Kaliady is the pre-Christian celebration of the end of year. It is believed the word Kaliady takes its root from word kola (wheel) symbolizing the sun, seasonal cycle, and winter solstice. Later it was adopted for Christmas celebration by Orthodox and Catholic churches.
Celebrating this holiday people get together for frivolous fun and feisty frolics called “going kaliadying”. They go door-to-door singing carols to wish the hosts health, wealth, and great harvest in the year ahead. During this holiday, it’s customary to carry the Kaliada Star – a handmade, ornate, and large rotating beamed ring which symbolizes the sun and seasonal cycle. Later it became symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem.
In this Kaliada Star ornament, the blue star represents winter and the red star represents Christmas.
Enjoy your stitching and Merry Kaliady, my friends!
Read more in our Festive 2013 issue.

Designed by Iryna Varabei
Spirit of Belarus

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