Ethnotrip to the village Synevyr in TransCarpathia.

Every place in Ukraine has its particular cultural, natural and architectural achievements. Each town and village has its own traditions, rituals and folklore that for ages reproduced from generation to generation, improved but never have been forgotten.
Ethno-tourism – the name of the trip. In this way you can enjoy the nature or have a good rest and to feel the spirit of old times, to know the way of life in a separate region, the clothes, dishes, songs and the way of spending leisure and celebrating family holidays. But, in this article is written not only about the general Ukrainian traditions and about the picturesque village Synevyr in Transcarpathian region of Mizhhirsky district and about its culture, rituals and history.
The first written mention about the village Synevyr refers to the end of XVI century. In Hungarian documents is written that in upper streams of Verkhovyna’s river Talabory (the modern name of the river is Tereblia) there is a village, that is surrounded by the large forests. In 1604 it was named “Zynever”. The village Synevyr is scattered along the banks of the river Tereblian. It is surrounded by the mountainous locality of the central Forest Carpathians.
Long since the cattle-land farming predominated in this region. They were growing some barley, oat, hemp and potato. The oldest orable implements were “rala”, “sokhy” and wooden ploughs. Two or three pairs of horses were harnessed with there ploughs. People were sowing grain-crops themselves, they were gathering the harvest with the help of sickles or scythes and they were threshing by flails but they were milling on the water mills. Stock breeding played an important role in the village Synevyr. Cows, sheep’s, goats, pigs, horses and poultry fowls were being bred there. They used bullocks as the pulling power and they also ploughed by them. The home crafts played an important role in the household life of the villagers. Such as the bee-keeping, the hunt, the fishing, the timber industry, the timber rafting “bokoriv”, the producing of leather and other. The spinning and the weaving were the widest developed there. Every peasant family was occupied with this work. The countrymen produced the linen and the buff for the clothes, table-cloths and the dish-cloths. They were weaving on the weaving loom “krosnakh”. There are many ground in Synevyr and every farmstead has small garden.
The oldest habitation was the wooden house with the hall, the storehouse and the double sloped roof that was covered by “dranytsiamy”. It is typical for the inside planning of the house that the stove was in the inner corner next to the entrance door.
The benches were under the walls near the table. The chest was in the house and the “hriadka” (the rack) for clothes, towels was above the chest.
In the village Synevyr people used linen, wollen, leather, sheep materials of the home production for the sewing the clothes. The embroidered blouse in “tunika” style was the women’s cloth. (since XIX century a skirt) “kyptari”, “laybyky” were worn after the blouse. The girls plaited the hair but the young women put them around the head and put on the kerchiefs. The suit for men consisted of the shirt with the tight stand-up collar. It tucked in the linen trousers “hati” or in the wollen trousers “holoshni”. Men wear shirts over trousers quite often. In cold season both men and women wore woolen “serdaky” (street clothes) and leather and rubber “postoly”.
For ages the main meal consisted of the oat and corn fread “mylaynyk”, mealy goods, blue cabbage-heads, beans, potatoes, garlic, union. Stock-breeding, gardening and fishing gave the important food products. The villages dried mushrooms, forest berries, fruits, smoked meat and lard. The daily and the festive dishes were broth (soup) (pickled cabbage, potato, bean), “rosolianka” (pickled cabbage, sour milk, corn flour), small boiled dumplings, stuffed cabbage leaf, and “tokan” (some cereal of the corn flour), “riplianka” (wheaten flour, mashed potatoes), “friga” (fried brynza with some onion) and compote.
The marriage had the great importance among the rituals. The married person had greater authority than unmarried one. The compulsory condition in the marriage was the absence of the family relationships between the bridegroom and the bride, the parent’s blessing, the uniting in marriage and the wedding party.
A small monogamous family that consists of one, two or three generations was spreaded. The head of the family was a husband – father. There was an enlarged family that consisted of some related small families in the village. It was fatherly (married sons and daughters lived together with the father) or brotherly (after the father’s death married brothers and sisters continued to live together). All the most important events of the people’s life and the function of the family are accompanied by the various holidays, rituals and customs. The wedding was rich in rituals and customs. Let’s describe a fragment: “Friday’s evening was the beginning of the wedding. Guests, triple musicians came to the bridegroom in the evening. The guests were eating, singing and dancing till morning. Early on Saturday guests, bridegroom, bridegroom’s parents and musician went to the bride. The ritual of cutting the wreaths of periwinkle for the bridegroom and for the bride hols there. Separate two groups of guests that are led by the godparents plait wreaths separately for the bridegroom and for the bride. A widow can not take part in this ritual. The ritual is accompanied by the wedding songs and kolomyiky”.
The residents of the village Synevyr are christians. The religious holidays are accompanied by festive rituals that are devided into winter, spring, summer and autumn holidays. Many christian rituals are saved in the standpoint. The winter religious holidays among them is “koliada” will begin soon.
How do people celebrate the Christmas Eve in the village Synevyr? The land is in the state of the presentiment of great event – the birth of Jesus Christ according to the popular belief in this day. Adults and children prepared for this day in good time. Children prepared masks, clothes angels, an old man, and old women, “jew”, the devil, went to the repetitions of Christmas carols and wishes. The adults cleaned the homes, yards, stables, bought food and drinks for the festive table. Early in the morning on the 6th of the January boys or men (“polaznyky”) must come in the houses. Girls and women can not be “polaznykamy” according to the old tradition in this villages. Near 6 o’clock in the morning mistresses open the door for the “polaznyka”. People give him sweets, nuts and money. Such ritual is spend for the successful next year. The mistress cooks 12 lenten dishes in this day. As soon as the first star rises the family sits at the festive table. There is some round bread “krochun” decorated with beans, spikes of rye, barley and oat on the shred of hay in the middle of the table. “Krochun” was baked by the mistress “hastynia” at the eve of the Christmas. “Krochun” is the symbol of the wealth and the prosperity of the family. There is also a candlestick with a candle in the middle of the table. The floor is covered by straw. There is a sheaf of oat or rye in the corner next to the table. The master set fire to the candle then the family prayed and had supper. People didn’t take the dishes from the table because they believed that souls of dead relatives can come for the Holly supper. When the family is at the festive supper some people knock the door, signal and ask: ”Do you invite koliada?” or “Can koliada come in?”.
There rituals are kept till nowadays and used on winter holidays. The residents of the village Synevyr are friendly and kind-hearted people. They are always glad to tell you about their customs and traditions. You can come to this beautiful land in a cozy homestead “Bokorash” on the bank of the river Tereblia. Where you will have an interesting and educational excursion to the “Museum of the forest and the floating”, “Lake of Synevyr”, “The line of Arpada” and you will be acquainted with the other districts, with their culture and the mode of life. You will take a part of mountain life after your visit to the beautiful landscapes of Transcarpathia.