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From the beginning, carolers symbolized the dead who followed the sun, and kutya was a symbol of honoring ancestors. The head of the department of folkloristics of the Institute of Philology of the Kyiv National University named after T. Shevchenko, associate professor Olesya Naumovska, told about this on the air of Radio Kultura. She also told why carolers, according to tradition, change clothes, and when New Year's trees appeared in homes.
"Shedryvky" are ritual songs performed on a generous evening, the evening on the eve of the new year. They usually began with the words of greeting: "Generous evening, good evening." In the distant past, this type of song differed from other holiday songs, today it differs in that it is sung in Ukraine and in Ukrainian-speaking villages of the region. At the time when we now celebrate Christmas, once upon a time, even before Christianity, in Ukraine there was a holiday of the winter solstice. It was the time of divination for the coming year; and that is why we still have a whole series of pre-Christian elements in Christmas customs, whose purpose was to call for a good harvest in the following year, wealth and prosperity in the house of the master, lucky catches for the hunter, a wedding for a girl and a happy journey for a young man - a prince's wife or the prince himself. All the natural forces of nature are appeased and called upon not to harm people and livestock.
"Carols" were baked on Vasiliev's Eve, addressed to the owners of the house, as well as separately to the housewife and her daughter, or the father of the family and his son, etc. The most ancient, pagan carol songs are connected with the theme of the magical growth of nature and living things, the later ones also absorbed religious themes: