Rusalii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rusalii

 

ancient Slavic ceremonies of prayer to rusalki (or vily), spirits of rain, vegetation, and fertility, who were depicted as winged maidens (sirens). Rusalii were observed four times a year. The two winter periods of observance—December 25 and January 6—were associated with incantational magic for the new year. The two summer periods—rusal’naia nedelia (Rusalii Week), beginning on June 4, and kupala, on June 24—were associated with prayers for rain.

Both men and women took part in the rituals and masquerades of rusalii. The rituals were accompanied by music, singing, and dancing, which provoked harsh attacks by the church. Rusalii may be compared to Western European carnivals. Similar rituals were also known among the ancient Romans (rosalia) and a number of other peoples. Rusalii were recorded by ethnologists in Bulgaria in the early 20th century.

REFERENCES

Maksimov, S. V. Nechistaia, nevedomaia i krestnaia sila. St. Petersburg, 1903.
Rybakov, B. A. “Rusalii i bog Simargl-Pereplut.” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1967, no. 2.
Marinov, D. Narodna vera i religiozni narodni obichai. Sofia, 1914.

B. A. RYBAKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For certain celebrations (Rusalii, (10) for example) men could dance together with the Calucari (a Romanian traditional dance typical for the Oltenia province).
(10.) Rusalii is the popular name for the Christian celebration "Descent of the Holy Spirit," which is held on Sunday, 50 days after Easter.
She'll dance you to bliss, precum ielele de rusalii
rusalii" (Romanian): according to Romanian folklore,
Les demons feminins de l'air, lele, Vantoase, Rusalii, ont comme correspondants les fees des eaux et de la terre.