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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What are we up to in December?

We are gearing up for a series of small performances based on the Russian tradition of Kolyada*, an age-old celebration of Winter Solstice, as well as beginning to offer physical training to the public at our Body|Works Studio, commencing with Bryan Brown's Freedom Bound Workshop.

*Kolyada (Kohl-YAH-da) - The Winter Solstice.
The word has similar roots with the Roman word "calendae" which meant the first 10 days of any month, as well as the word "Kolo" or wheel (Koleso, in Russian) - much like the word "Yule" is an Anglo-Saxon word for wheel. The holiday was filled with revelry. Processions of people masked like animals and cross-dressers roamed the village. Often they were accompanied by a "goat"- a goat's head, either real or (usually) made and stuffed on a stick. The person holding the "goat" would be covered by a blanket to play the part. Sometimes a child on horseback - symbol of the reborn sun - would accompany them; the horse was often played by two young men in horses costumes. One of the wenders would carry a spinning solar symbol, internally lit by a candle, on a stick. Later, after Christianity entered the scene, the spinning "sun" became a star. See more at this link of Slavic Holidays.

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