Folk box: 500 years ago in September...

Each week Olga Shapovalova offers to folk music lovers a multicoloured display of customs and traditions, legends and tales, melodies and rythms of Russia.

Do you know how the ancient Russians called September? “Rust”, meaning “yellow”. Could one say it any better? That is the dominating color for the month in our part of the world! Although, of course, there are also brown, crimson leaves adding to the overall autumn palette of shades. But yellow is definitely the decisive color! Beautiful!

September has a number of other ancient names, one more romantic than the other. For example: “rainchimer” or “zorevo”, from the word “zarya” – “dawn”. The first, as you can guess, owes the name to the abundant rainfalls in our part of the world during the autumn season, with at times persistent drizzles that carry tiny, resonant raindrops. The other name – due to the September dawns. No matter what the weather might be like, the dawns at this particular time are accompanied by rolling mists and chilly temperatures, with vermillion streaks of color across the skies, when the sun makes a striking entrance enveloped in a mysterious haze. No wonder so many songs have been written about this incredibly beautiful sight…

How did our ancient ancestors perceive the month of September? That is the topic I suggest we look into and explore today. I think it would be quite curious to find out how people ‘heard’ autumn say, 500 years ago.

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