Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/120

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112 THE BELIEFS AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES

When all the food is eaten, the girls begin "making godmothers " of each other. For this purpose they make a large wreath of birch branches through which they kiss one another after singing a song. In the governments of Nizhegorod and Simbirsk the following Russian song is used, as also by the Russians themselves, during the ceremonies of the day:

"Godmother! we'll be godmothers, godmothers we shall be,
We'll make godmother the Semìk birch tree.
Oi Did Lado to worthy Semìk,
Oi Did Lado to my wee birch tree,
To godmother [and] to the dove.
Godmothers we'll be,
Godmothers we'll be,
Don't wrangle, don't scold,
Oi Did Lado! my little birch tree!"

When the girls have made themselves godmothers, they return to the village singing lustily in Russian:

Dear mother Trinity,
The mother too of God,
And hon'rable Semìk
To us both soap and candles give,
Something to bleach [us] white,
A little looking-glass,
Of money a copek,
Oi Did Lado
Worthy Semìk's cake of eggs."

In place of the Trinity, they probably used to pray to Cham Pas, Nishki Pas, and Ved Pas. The phrase "mother of God" has undoubtedly taken the place of Ange Patyai, and "honourable Semìk" that of Kyolu Ozais, in whose honour the girls hold the festival.

On the following day old and young, men and women, all assembled for a public festival in the Keremet consecrated to Ange Patyai. Three girls led the white one-year-old sheep, bought with the money collected by the parindyaits and yanbeds. First they washed it in a brook, and sometimes tied branches to its horns. If there was a great gathering of people, they brought two, three, or more sheep. When they had led them to the east door of the Keremet, the girls