Yakut Tradition – Ceremony of Feeding Fire

This ceremony is carried out in everyday life before a trip to fishing, hunting or travelling, hoping to receive blessings from the spirit of the Bayanaya forest, a successful journey, favourable weather.

The rite of feeding the fire is especially large-scale and beautiful on solemn occasions, for example, during the Ysyakh national holiday. Throughout the celebration, the ceremony is performed several times as an expression of gratitude and a request for a blessing from the spirits. In Yakutia, fire is usually fed with pancakes, horsehair, koumiss – a traditional drink made from mare’s milk.

The traditional rite is held as follows: the shaman leads the ritual, it takes place with a tambourine around the bonfire, driving away the sound of evil spirits. Following this, all the participants of the festival bring their fire to the common fire and feed it with “forest and river food.” Participants throw pieces of bread into the fire – as a gift and as an offering to the deities, thereby evoking their favour and invoking good luck.

The hunters, when going to hunt and returning from the hunt, thank the fire and feed with the food that they got and ask it to give them success the next time.

The guests, arriving at the house, give food from the table to the fire of the owners of the house and at the same time say that all troubles go around this house and the owners and wish health to adults and children. If newborns or small children appeared in the house first, then they smeared ash on their nose and wished them good health.

There are also prohibitions: you can not spit on fire, you can’t step on, step over or jump over the fire. A person who violated the ban or his relative may fall ill. Do not throw or point at the fire with the pricking objects, so as not to injure or offend the spirit of fire.

Ru-Main, 05.12.2019

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