In the eternal agricultural cycle "death-birth", the winter sleep of nature was perceived by our ancestors as death. Therefore, it is easy to understand that maidens of fertility - mermaids had a dual nature, which enabled them to unite the world of the living ("Yav") with the world of the dead ("Nav").
Over time, under the pressure of Christianity, the attitude towards mermaids changed, they were read for fear, gradually equating them with evil. At the forefront of their dangerous, otherworldly "navya" nature.
Mermaid, Muzzle, Shoe
From the archaic ideas about the mermaids remained a small, but a significant part - charming "mermaid" beauty: naked green-eyed beauties in wreaths of sedge could easily fascinate and stupefy anyone. After a long winter sleep, the mermaids emerge from the water, play among the willows, weave the swing from the birch branches, dance (and where they dance, the grass grows thicker and the flowers bloom more brightly). Sitting on a well in a well, in branches or on the shore, mermaids comb their hair (according to popular beliefs, rain can be caused by combing their hair). From the mermaid green curls the water flows down.
It was believed that this water can flood the whole village. The sinister, dark beginning is manifested in the strange exclamations of the mermaids "Wow, a straw spirit!". Straw - the symbol of an obsolete, grainless ear, indicates the connection between exclaimers and the other world. Everyone is known for enticing, seductive laughter of mermaids, it is them water maidens who lure young men and, tickling, make them laugh to death. However, it is not so easy to catch your victim to a mermaid, she can step up to a person only from the back, because in front of him protects the cross. Manya the young man, the mermaid lists men's names long until the victim responds (thereby opening himself to the other world).
Mermaids themselves , like any evil spirits, have no names. Hence the protection: after seeing the mermaid, it should be said: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and name it ...". After receiving the name, the mermaids disappear. As representatives of a different world, mermaids see the future well. Therefore, at the mermaid week the most brave of the girls went to the forest to ask about their fate. As a gift to the mermaids, wreaths were laid on the water, without a candle, and at night they were seen in the dream of a sucked one. Mermaids can not stand the smell of wormwood and lover, because these herbs have long served people as amulets. Field and forest mermaids were called mows.
Many scientists wonder where the term mermaid came from. Mavka - young girls dressed in snow-white or green shirts to the heels with long, below the waist, red hair. They do not wear wreaths, but their hair is covered with flowers. Mavens like forest glades with tall grasses. They are "sown" with flowers, but they especially like to run around the fields, and where they run, the wheat is thicker, and the ears are poured faster. Unlike mermaids who love midnight, mashes are more likely to appear at noon, which is why they are called "dusk". At a time when the field begins to pound, it does not go on it, "so that the mam does not entice." If it happens, you will see a maw, you should run away from it along the border, because you can not cross this border.
Shackles are considered to be the most pernicious and cunning. In the Carpathians, they are called "bouis". The forks live in gorges and dense forests. They are dangerous because they are people in the image of a beloved, long-lost person, bewitch and entice into the abyss or impenetrable thicket. You can recognize the patch by looking at her back. It does not have backs, therefore all its insides are visible. Most of all, the wraiths are afraid of Chugaitra - the forest spirit, which regularly protects people from the beginning of time. Each of the above-mentioned creatures has a "favorite" habitat. Belief in mermaids was most common in Poltava, Vinnytsia and in the north of Ukraine. The woolen "characteristic" for the Carpathians, the mavecks are strongly associated with Volyn.
The Feast of Rusalia or Rosaliy is one of the most archaic in the territory of Ukraine, with an epicenter in Polissya. Despite the fact that many centuries in a row Christianity declared Rusalia "dancing with demons", "disgraceful", "jumping skomoroshim," until the end of the cult of veneration of mermaids, he did not succeed. Although in the "trimmed" form of the ritual it was possible to live up to the XXI century. In the times of Kievan Rus, Rusalia's holiday occurred at the beginning of May, at the moment of the appearance of young greenery, accompanied by funeral feasts, ritual dances, bonfires, fortune-telling. Adapting to the calendar, the rusal ceremonies were shifted and merged with the celebration of the Trinity, forming a single "Zelesh svata." However, in the villages of Polissya and Volhynia, ancient rituals are still alive, and "Trinity" songs are often called Rusal songs. The mermaid week begins on the 50th day after Easter (this year - on Monday, May 24). These days in the villages traditionally commemorate the souls of foremothers, on the windowsills exhibit freshly baked bread (according to the belief, its smell saturates the mermaids). In some regions, freshly baked bread is broken into pieces and thrown along the border in the field or along the banks of rivers. As a gift to green-eyed beauties, women are hung on birch ribbons and pieces of white cloth (mermaid on a shirt).
Thursday (May 27) is the Midsummer Easter. On this day it is recommended to have with you wormwood or lovage. Working on this day takes a guardian, which will protect against the mermaid's wrath. In the cradle to a small child should put the head of garlic. On this day, girls can guess at the river, launching a wreath for a mermaid and necessarily defending themselves with wormwood. Women go out into the meadow, tear flowers and weave memorial wreaths, which decorate the crosses in the cemetery. From this day, the "seeing off of the mermaids" begins. The girls go out to the outskirts of the village with russal songs: "I'll take the mermaid to the ford, and I'll go home." According to the story, on Saturday, along with the "green klechanni" (clicks, kvichanyanya), the ancestral souls come to our homes. with oneself and relatives, remember the ancestors with kind words.The next environment behind the Rusalia is called Re-melting, and children are especially eagerly awaiting it, since on that day a ban on bathing in rivers and ponds is lifted.
Unbelievable, but obvious
After Rusalia, until the Kupala itself, herbs are gaining healing power, and the morning dews become curative. Children run on the morning dew to become healthier, the girls wash their dew to become more beautiful, older people gather dew in the palm of their hand to wash away her ailments.
History keeps enough evidence of people who have met with mermaids. Among them were the famous 17th century traveler Henry Hudson, who even recorded this event in an onboard magazine. Christopher Columbus testified about the meeting with three mysterious creatures off the coast of Guiana. And there is a picture of a fantastic creature with a signature that it was caught on the coast of Borneo and was observed by about fifty people.
Scientists consider the existence of mermaids biologically impossible, but there are also those who study this phenomenon. For example, the Englishman Jeral Gudlin assumes that these creatures, unknown to science, can hypnotically influence him, inspiring him with images "caught" in his own creation.