11:20 Dec. 13, 2016
The night before December 13 is a time of unique traditional games and fortune telling rituals
The night of St Andriy's, known in Ukraine as Andriivsky vechornytsy, begins with the ritual of Kalyta biting. Kalyta is a traditional round sweet honey cake, which is used for festive games. It has a hole in the centre, through which a red ribbon is inserted, so the Kalyta can be hung. Once the cake is suspended, girls and boys can start playing - they jump trying to bite it.
In some Ukrainian regions, this ritual is solely for boys. The ceremony is an initiation of Ukrainian boys into maturity.
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On this day, girls don't waste a chance to have their share of fun. Young females meet to tell fortunes in the evening. What interest girls most is when they will get married.
The most authentic divination ritual involves balabushka baking, which is a small round cake. Girls gather in a house, spread a clean towel on the floor and put balabushkas on it. After that, they let a dog into the room; girls observe whose cake the dog will eat first. That girl, whose pastry is eaten first, will get married first.
For another ritual, a Ukrainian lady needs a comb. Before bedtime, a girl has to put her comb under the pillow uttering the following words: "My intended, come to comb me." If she sees in her sleep that a guy is combing her hair, this lad is supposed to become her future spouse.
To find out the name of a future husband, a girl goes out onto the street and asks the first man she sees his name. His answer is the name of her groom.
Even though Ukrainian girls and boys are having fun on St Andriy's Day, this holiday just launches the begining of winter festive period in Ukraine. So the ultimate fun is yet to come.