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Kolyada or koleda is the original Slavic word for Christmas. It was borrowed by Slavs from the Latin calendae [1]; compare "Kalends". In modern Ukrainian and Russian the word's meaning has shifted from Christmas itself to denoting the tradition of strolling, singing, and having fun on Christmas Eve.

The word specifically applies to children and teens who walk house to house giving out congratulations, singing and sifting grain that denotes the best wishes and receiving candy and small money in return. The action received the name kolyadovanie and is now applied to similar Old East Slavic celebrations of other old significant holidays, such as Generous Eve (Ukrainian: Щедрий вечiр) the evening before Epiphany, as well as the celebration of the arrival of spring. In Bulgaria, a similar tradition of koleduvane (коледуване) is observed around Christmas, with groups of boys visiting each house and singing carols, and being offered a gift at parting. The boys are referred to as 'koledari' or rarely 'kolezhdani'.

Croatian composer Jakov Gotovac wrote in 1925 the composition "Koleda", which he called a folk rite in five parts, for male choir and small orchestra (3 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, Timpani and Drum).

See also

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Christmas Guide, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.