Ceremonial holiday ‘Clean chum’

The Nganasans believed in the supernatural creatures called ‘nguo’- protective spirits of natural elements (the Sky, the Sun, the Earth and so on). They also believed in ‘kocha’ – illness spirits, ‘dyamada’ – spirits, who helped the shamans, ‘barusi’ – one-handed and one-eyed monsters. All these creatures were considered to be born by Mother of the Earth (Mou-Nemy), Mother of the Sun (Kou-Nemy), Mother of the Fire (Tuy-Nemy), Mother of the Water (Byzy-Nemy), Mother of the Tree (Khua-Nemy) and so on.

Ethnocultural Festival ‘Setomaa. Family meetings’

Ethnocultural Festival ‘Setomaa. Family meetings’ has been held for the third time in 2010. It takes place in the village of Sigovo, Pechorsky district, the Pskov region. Participants of the Festival are the Setos from Russia and Estonia.

On the third ethnocultural festival there were organized three interactive sections: ‘Folk Instruments’, ‘National Cuisine’, and ‘Handicrafts Fair’. A concert of the folk groups from the Pskov region, Krasnoyarsk region, and Estonia took place, as well as the so-called ‘Kirmash’, or the festive peoples gathering at the ‘Bonfire of Friendship’.

‘Red Festival’ in Udmurtia

The Udmurts are the most red-haired Finno-Ugric people, the most red-haired nation in Russia, and as far as the rest of the world is concerned, they are inferior only to the Irish in this respect.

‘Vasiley’ Gazh

Vasiley gazh is a republican amateur composer festival of contemporary Komi songs. The festival is traditionally held in the village of Ust-Kulom on Old New Year’s Eve, on the day of Vasiliy (Komi name – Vasiley lun). The festival got its name after its initiators, the Komi composers - Vasiliy Lodygin, Vasiliy Gushin and Vasiliy Chuviurov.

Noyda Rite ‘Bonfire of Unity and Fulfillment of Dreams’

Sami people have a notion that noida (the Sami shaman) favours relations between people and the beyond, has an aptitude for calling up left deers, treating people from illness, regulating married life, he can interpret prophetic dreams and foretell the future. A wild deer is an obligatory concomitant of the Sami shaman in his travels to the other world. An indispensable thing of rites the Sami noida’s is a magic tambourine. It’s base is a rounded, an oval or sometimes broadened to the top part rim. The rim is covered from the deer hide.

‘Mu Nimvun’ – Earth Name Day

The folk holidays and festive days were connected with the Orthodox calendar dates. Whit Monday, following after Whitsunday, was famous as a ‘Mu Nimvun’, or Earth Name Day.

 The veneration of the Earth was expressed by means of prohibition of any works on the field and in the garden. In the Kochevsky district people should even step on the ground only in ‘valenki’ (a kind of felt boots), in order not to trample it down. In the Yusvinsky district people used to go to the field on this day and say praying to secure the rich harvest.

‘Búcsú’-Patron Saint’s Day

The holiday is celebrated in Chikshomlyo, a small village, situated in the south-eastern part of the historical Hungary. Chikshomlyo is famous for the religious holiday called ‘buchu’ (‘búcsú’ in Hungarian) of the Virgin Mary, which is celebrated annually on the Holy Saturday of the Whitsun and lasts up to the first day of Whitsun. Today one of the most important purposes of the holiday is that the village appears to be the largest pilgrimage destination of the Hungarians of different religious views and living in different parts of the world (about 300-400 thousand people).

Crow’s Day

Crow’s Day, or ‘Vurna Khatl’ (in the Khanty language), ‘Urna-ekva Khotal’ (in Mansi), ‘Varne-yalya’ (in Nenets) is considered to be the Day of the coming spring, traditionally celebrated in the day, when the crows fly back. Later its celebration was transferred to the Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God, April 7. Crow’s Day is the favorite holiday of the Obskye Ugric peoples (Khanti and Mansi). In Khanty-Mansiisk the celebration is organized in the open-air museum of Torum-Maa.


The celebration of the world-wide holiday of Christ’s Resurrection has some Udmurt peculiarities. In the Sunday morning and afternoon the youth, dressed in new clothes, children and men roll colored Easter eggs. There are certain rules to follow: people stand up in a circle, everyone rolls 1-3 eggs (the quantity of eggs is equal to the quantity of leads) along a kind of chute made of lime-tree bark; in the second round the participants take those eggs again and roll them once more: if the egg runs into another, its owner can keep one egg for himself.

“Baran-latko-ozks” – Praying of Sheep Gully

In the village of Savkino of the former Saratov province you can hear a story about the ancient religious festivities and praying which were held at the time of paganism with the participation of the locals – the Mordovians, not far from the village, near the spring called “Baran-Latka” in the Mordovian dialect.

“Baban’ porridge” - Old Woman’s Porridge

In summer, after the Petrov day (June 20) the Mordovian following pagan rituals buy five or six oxen and slaughter them in the field. The rich donate oxen for this occasion. All the society gather in the field and every comer takes eggs and flour, and every family obligatory brings a pot of porridge, i.e. every farmstead must gibe not less than one pot of porridge.

“Tundan’ Il’khtema”, “Tundon’ Il’tyamot” (Spring Send-off)

The festival “Spring Send-off” was held on the last day of the Trinity. Originally, it was the Mordovian festival connected with the patroness of women Ange-patyai (erz.). To obtain health and good fiancés girls performed a special ritual in the birch groves or in the woods, during which they asked the patroness to help their happiness. Spring send-off is an integral part of the folk festivals and the Mordovian stage performances.

The information was prepared and provided by the members of THE POVOLJSKY CENTRE OF FINNO-UGRIC CULTURES.

“Bukan’-Ozks”- Bull Praying

Only men take part in this ritual. They gather in the field and make pure – home brew from or two poods of honey and slaughter a bull. Pure is drunk and boiled beef is eaten. The more they drink, the better: “pare was strong, the god is strong, and the harvest will be strong”.

In the village of Old Machim Orthodox clergy participate in the pray of “bukan-ozks”. At first the priest holds a public prayer, and then takes part in the feast.

“Vedyavan’ Nalksemat” (Vedyava’s Merrymaking)

From the earliest times the Mordvians took care of everything that surrounded them: forest, earth and, of course, water. Water idolization whose patroness was considered to be Vedyava, belief in miraculous, life-giving, purgatorial force of water appertained both to the Erzya and the Moksha. The festival was held in summer, in the end of July. It started with the ritual “Yamkson’ purnamot” (“Millet picking”) with mummers: the water hostess Vedyava, Ved’aty, Viryava, Numolo (Hare), Kal’ (Willow), Kiley (Birch), Tumo (Oak), Piche (Pine tree), Gui (Snake) and others.

Luzhitskiy Clubbing

Annually since 2000 the Votes festival “Luzhitskiy clubbing” is held in the village of Luzhitsi in July.

The Ingrian Festival of Song and Dance

In the early XVII century Narva used to be the administrative centre of the Province of Inkeri (Ingria), which was inhabited by the Ingrian people, nation, related to the Estonians. The people of Inkeri had to face and endure some tragic events of their history, but they have always carefully kept up the traditions, their life and soul being language, music and dance. The Ingrian Festival of Song and Dance is held annually in different countries.

National Costume Festival “Ferezi”

Every year in October, the Olonets national museum organizes the national costume festival “Fezeri” (“fezeri” is a long skirt with a corsage on straps, i.e. a pinafore dress). The idea of the festival came up when the children’s folk festivals “Olonets round dance” were organized. The festival aims at popularizing the national costume, formating and educating folk groups to make, wear and use the national costume.

Kyrban Festival

One of the indigenous and minor nationalities in the world – the Besermyans – lives in the north of Udmurtia. Every summer the praying and the festival Kyrban become the event, where the inhabitants of all Besermyan villages can be seen. In the recent years the festival has acquired modern features, but its objective has remained the same. According to folk beliefs, it depends on people what kind of summer and the future harvest they will have, and if it will rain in time.

The Day of Saint Stephen (Istvan) I

The Day of Saint Stephen I is the main national holiday in Hungary. On August 20, 1000 Stephen I was crowned and became the first Hungarian king. Under his rule (1000-1038) the Hungarian people adopted Christianity; tribal social structure was replaced by the territory-based administration - there were several counties (king’s comitatus). In 1083 King Stephen I was canonized, and Pope Gregory VII proclaimed the 20th of August a great holiday.

The Day of the epic poem of ‘Kalevala’

The Day of the epic poem of ‘Kalevala’, celebrated on February 28, is one of the favourite Finns’ holidays. It is devoted to national Finnish epic literature and culture.

The epic poem of ‘Kalevala’, a magnificent work of a great nation, collected and published in 1835 by a Finnish specialist in literature, scholar and poet, a doctor by education, Elias Lönnrot (1802—1884) originates from time immemorial.

The Day of National language in Estonia

On March 14 Estonia observes the Day of the National language. It is called ‘Emakeelepaev', and if translated literally, means ‘the Day of the Mother tongue’.

Estonian belongs to the Uralic family of languages and represents Finno-Ugric branch, the southern group of the Baltic-Finnic languages. According to the amount of native speakers - about 1.1 million people, besides 950 thousand of them live in Estonia-it is one of the least widespread languages.

The Estonian language is divided into three dialectal groups:

The Day of the Finnish flag

The Day of the Finnish flag is observed on the 24th of July. National flag of Finland is of two colours: sky-blue and dazzling white. Blue cross symbolizes innumerable pure lakes of the northern state;white background means the cleanness of snow, which covers all the country during the lasting winters.

National Finnish flag is very much regarded by the people living in the country. There are some big fines, provided by law, which are imposed upon those who venture on disrespectful treatment of the flag.

Spring Presents to Heaven Thunder God

The old Nenets people remember that in the early days they and their ancestors celebrated the spring festival of presenting a deer to the heaven Thunder God. In the kin Pankhi Pyak this event took place as follows: The kin Pankhi Pyak went to their holy hill “Kavr nat ka” to sacrifice deer to the Gods of Water, Sky, and Thunder. The deer ware taken out to the plain site with their nebs to the east. Three men killed the deer and tied it to a larch.

Peledysh Aio – Flowers, Songs and Labor Festival

Peledysh Aio is the favorite festival of the Mari people, which has been held for about 80 years. Year in year out, when spring field work was over, people celebrated their holiday: They put on their best dresses and national decorations. They had fun, sang and danced whole- heartedly.

Ritual Calendar Festival “Shorykiol” (“Sheep’s Leg”)

Shorykiol (Christmastide) is a “sheep’s leg.” Shorykiol is one of the best-known ritual Mari festivals. It is celebrated in the period of the winter solstice (from December 22) after nascence of a new moon. The orthodox Mari celebrate it at the same time as Christian Christmas (January 6). However, the first day of the festival is Friday (the traditional Mari day-off in the past), which does not always coincide with Christmas. The festival has several names.