Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/135

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OF THE M0RDVIN8. 127

do not, however, consume the whole, but keep some to give to the hens, ducks, geese, calves, sucking pigs, and lambs. An old animal gets nothing.

On New Year's Day, at dinner time, the master of the house opens the window, lights a candle in front of it, and, kneeling down with all the household, prays :

    • Cham Pas have mercy upon us. Ange Patyai pray for the

swine, sheep, sucking pigs, hens, &c. (enumerating each animal). Taun ozais defend our swine from wolves, give us many sucking pigs. Velki Vashai (Basil the Great) Taunsyai give us black and white sucking pigs, such as thou lovest."

After this the mistress of the house gives her husband the pig's head on a dish. On this occasion it is not garnished with an Qgg^ with sprigs of birch, or with a golden beard. He then goes, dish in hand, with the children, first to the hardo syarkoy then to the pig-sty, the cow-house, and sheep-pen. But he is preceded by the eldest child — whether boy or girl — holding in its mouth the pig's tail, put there by its mother, and carrying in its hand a glove full of different sorts of grain. This it scatters about the hardo syarTco, the cow-house, the ploughs, harrows, carts, drying-barn, hay-loft, in fact everywhere. The father holding the pig's head prays :

" 0, Ange Patyai, let the crops and the cattle grow. 0, Taun ozais, Velki Vasyai, Taunsyai, protect the swine, that the wolves eat them not. <

When they have made the round of the house and the out-houses they return to the dwelling-room and sit down to dinner after repeating three times the same prayer as on Christmas Day. The wife, as soon as dinner is over, buries the pig's ears and snout under the front corner of the room.

The straw laid on the floor at Christmas must remain till January 2. Then the Avife takes a bundle of it, places it on the kardo syarko, and sets it on fire with a candle. Next day she smokes the cow- house. More straw is strewed in front of the dwelling-house on Twelfth Day Eve, and ignited with a candle. The Mordvins believe the smoke of the straw drives away unclean spirits.