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HAHILKY-VESNIANKY (HAYIVKY)

On Easter Sunday, young girls performed hahilky in front of the church or in the cemetery. In pagan times hahilky were performed in sacred groves by the water. These group dances, songs, games and dramatic scenes were believed to serve a magical function with the aim of enticing Spring and chasing Winter away. These songs and dances personified a funeral for frost and winter. They also imitated planting and growth of crops, and tried to ensure a bountiful harvest through the magic of music, words and body motion.
With these dances and songs the people attempted to entice and enchant all the good spirits of the reawakened Nature so that it would bring them good luck and wealth. Hahilky addressed various subjects. In some the dancers walked in a circle imitating the rotation of the sun in the sky, while in another the gestures showed the continuity of human life on earth. There was also a group of hahilky that spoke about the beauty and industriousness of young maidens, since Spring was also a time when love blossomed.

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