Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/133

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OF THE MORDVINS. 125

of Penza and Samara, still preserve the Mordvin ceremonies of Taunsyai, under the name of tausen or avsen. The Mordvins celebrate it in the following manner :

On New Year's Eve the well-to-do, who have many pigs, slaughter one with almost the same ceremonies as on Christmas Eve. The destined pig is kept in a room till the other is killed on Christmas Eve. It is then taken to a separate sty, where it is fed till December 31, but a macerated bath-switch is not used on this occasion when it is slaughtered. Those who cannot afford to kill two pigs in close succession keep over from the hyolyada festival the trotters, as they are an obligatory article of food, in order to cook them on New Year's Eve. At the same time they also fry sweet pancakes in pork fat, make pies in the shape of pigs, and tarts of eggs, milk, and butter the size and shape of a hen's Qgg. In the same way as on Christmas Eve boys and girls make the rounds of the houses, though without bath- switches or lantern, singing in the following manner among the Ersa of Sergachk, Ardatof, Arsamas, and Simbirsk, Elsewhere the songs do not greatly differ :

" Taunsyai I Open, O earth, Let the crops grow, Round ears of corn, Grain like an awl, Let straw grow as well, Like the shaft of a cart.

    • Taunsyai I

Thrust out a seed, Bake thou a pie. Near the window put [it] ; A pigeon will fly. Will take up the grain, [But] we'll [take] the pie.

" Taunsyai I Go not to the door. To the windows they come, Pigs' trotters and cakes That have sat in the stove That have looked down on us. Taunsyai!"