Fortune telling, songs and kutia: How to celebrate Generous Evening and Malanka

Source : 112 Ukraine

On January 13, Generous Evening comes to Ukrainian homes, a holiday is filled with kindness, as well as special traditions and customs
08:38, 13 January 2022

According to the Christian calendar, January 13 is not only a Generous Evening (Shchedryi Vechir) but also the day of St. Melania (Malanka).

People united these holidays into one; that is why it has two names.

Generous evening, like any other holiday in Ukraine, is full of traditions and customs, and even prohibitions.

Traditions of celebration

Families begin making generous kutia in the morning. Unlike Lenten kutia, which is served on Christmas Eve, generous kutia can be filled with whatever one wants - milk, butter, cream, etc.

It is made of wheat, honey, and poppy seeds. This is symbolic: grain means resurrected life, honey means sweet life and a symbol of health, and poppy means prosperity.

The peculiarity of the "generous" table is variety: it is believed that the more different dishes on it, the more generous the next year will be. All meals should be hearty.

On this evening it is undesirable to cook fish - it is considered a bad omen, as "happiness may sail away” from the house.

The pork is an obligatory attribute of the festive table: this animal symbolizes prosperity in the home.

Varenyky (filled dumplings), pancakes, aspic, and various sausages are traditionally cooked.


Of course, the shchedrivki (carols). The singers of carols go around the houses with good wishes to the owners.

According to tradition, this happens in the evening until midnight, but in practice, as we know, children-singers begin to knock on the door in the afternoon in Ukraine.

On this day, groups of teenagers also "lead Malanka". Wearing masks, they express good wishes and amuse with songs and humorous skits. As a rule, one of the boys is dressed up in a woman's dress and everyone calls him Malanka.

In the evening the girls go fortune-telling.

According to tradition when the fortune-telling began the boys would steal the gates or the wickets from the girls at home, and to get back the loss the father of the girl had to put up a mogorych (backsheesh).

There are different forms of fortune-telling. For example, the first animal to be found in the street would be the betrothed (a dog - he would be evil, a sheep - he would be silent).

Or if three piles of grain are poured at the gates, and in the morning they checked: if no one touched it, then the family life will be happy, and vice versa.

The next day there would be sowing in the houses. At dawn, the sowers go to their godparents, and other relatives and friends, sow grain in their homes, and greet them with the New Year (which comes on January 14, according to the old style).

I sow, I blow, I sow, I greet on the New Year!

 For happiness, for health, and for the new year,

 For a better harvest than last year,

 Rye, wheat, and all kinds of bread!

According to folk beliefs, the sower must be a guy; girls are not suitable for this job.

What people cannot do

On this evening, it is not advised to meet the holiday in dark clothing. In addition, it is believed that on this day it is impossible to pronounce the word "thirteen", as well as to count small coins.

Also, on this evening it is impossible to give anything in debt, otherwise, there is a risk of the whole year to be a debtor. And, of course, you can not quarrel.

What people can do

Celebrate. And be in a good mood. Happy Holidays!


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