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Themes, melodies, the form of carols and carols, and caroling customs show signs of deep antiquity. It is the walking of a group of carolers with a certain role distribution, and sometimes with instrumental accompaniment, that suggests a similarity with groups of merry buffoons of the princely era. The themes of carols and charity songs are agriculture and the family - its life and well-being (other themes occupy a relatively small place: military-hunting, fantasy-fairy tale, love, biblical motifs). All these songs of majestic content are sung specifically to the master, the mistress, the servant, the girl.
One of the beliefs leads us to the cult of ancestors, which is prominently featured in Christmas rituals. On "Holy Eve" (Christmas Eve), the evening dinner, consisting, in the Lubensk district, mainly of kuti and uzvar (dried fruit decoction), has a family and, in particular, memorial character: kuti is left for the night for deceased relatives; according to popular belief, vague reflections of small, doll-like people descending to the table can be seen on the wall. The ancient Slavs met the New Year with songs, dances, jokes of the dressed-up people, funny pranks. This cycle of rites received the general name - carols. Caroled in Russia since December 25. They dressed up in leather, put on scary masks, went from house to house, sang songs. It was still dark, on the early New Year's morning, there was a knock on the door or window. The owners already guessed who was knocking and opened the door hospitably. Guests entered the house, scattering bread grains around the house and chanting:
Subsequently, with the introduction of the Christian religion as a state religion in Russia (the so-called "baptism of Russia"), the rite of caroling was adapted to the celebration of Christmas. Priests and monks created new religious carols with biblical images, which also gained great popularity among the people. Prominent composers undertook the processing and restoration of carols: Mykola Lysenko, Stanislav Lyudkevich, and others. In carols, according to tradition, all members of the family were honored: the master, the mistress, the boyfriend, the girlfriend. The caroling was combined with a corresponding theatrical performance, dances, and music. They caroled in groups, having previously distributed responsibilities: chieftain "birch", "star", "mihonosha" and "ryajeni". Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivskyi described Christmas carols as follows in his Christmas sermon "The Meaning of Christmas Carols":