Fortune-telling is very ancient. It is described as an “invisible religion”. Fortune-telling was always part of popular culture.
In Russian there is a common word “gadanie” . In English there is the diffirentiation of the two terms, “fortune-telling” and “divination”.
Divination is for indication traditional rural practices.
Fortune-telling is for divinatory activities among literate/urban groups.
Fortune-telling performed an important social function in traditional Russian culture. There existed various kind of divinatory specialists. In Slavic tribes chieftans, sorcerers, priests told fortunes. Those specialists had overlapping functions, but were divided primarily into white- and black-magic practitioners.
diviners specialized in the retrieval of lost and stolen property;
midwives (they also intrepreted dreams and made predictions about a new babies future):
healers (znakhar/znakharka), they acted as mediaters with the unclean forces.
They imbodied supernatural powers within themselves.
They also could could cause “spoiling”.
In ancient Russia both the unmarried daughters of boyars locked in their terems (chambers at the top of rich houses) and unmarried girls and some young men villages did a large range of divinatory activities about their marital prospects. It was there favourite pastime during Yuletide (Sviatki – the period of time, which lasted from 25 December to 5 January, but nowadays it’s from 7 to 19 January in Russia)
Yuletide divination had to take place at the right time (most commonly at the witching hour of midnight) and in the right place (the bathhouse, the crossroads, the threshing barn). Such rituals were part of festivities, which placed an emphasis on marry-making.
Nowadays people also do fortune-telling and divinatory activities. The most popular are “Melting Wax”, “Throwing a Shoe”, “Pulling out a Log”, “Asking the Name”, “Listening in”, with a chicken or a cat, and others.
Girls melt a piece of wax in a spoon, then pour it out in cold water. The wax takes different shapes. Then the girls scrutinize the wax and try to guess the sense of the telling.
Throwing a Shoe
You should throw the shoe from your left foot over your left shoulder or with closed eyes. The toe of the shoe will point from where your bridegroom will come.
Pulling out a Log
Girls went to a dark woodshed and pulled out a log at random. They took theirlogs into their houses and scrutinized them trying the guess the appearance and the temper of a future husband.
Asking the Name
At midnight out on the street a girl asked the name of the first person she met. It was the name of her future husband.
Divination with a chicken
A girl brought a chicken into the house, put three bowls with water , grain and a ring. Then she waited to see whether it choose to peck first at water, grain or a ring, and from that predicted the type of husband and a quality of married life.
Divination with onions
A girl takes several onions, writes a name of boy on each of them and plants the onions a week before the fortune-telling. In a week she looks at the leaves of the onions: the name on the onion with the longest leaf would be the name of her future bridegroom.
Yuletide [‘ju:ltaid] – святки
bathhouse [‘ba:haus] – баня
belief [bi’li:f] – вера
bridegroom [‘braidgrum] – жених, новобрачный
chieftan [‘ti:ftn] – вождь
divination [,divi’nein] – гадание, ворожба
emphasis [‘emfsis] – ударение, усиление
emphasize [‘emfsaiz] – делать ударение (на слове), упор
function [fnkn] – функция
force [f:rs] – сила
Fortune [‘f:rtu:n] – Фортуна (мифология)
fortune [‘f:rtn] - судьба
fortune-teller [‘f:rtn – ‘tell ] – гадалка
log [l :g] – полено
marital [m’raitl] – супружеский, брачный
pastime [‘pa:staim] – времяпрепровождение, развлечение
peck at – клюнуть
pour [p: ] out – выливать
priest [prist] – жрец
pull out – вытягивать
rural [‘rurl] – сельский, деревенский
ritual [‘ritjl] – ритуальный
scrutinize [‘scru:tinaiz] – рассматривать
Slavic [slævik] – славянский
sorcerer [‘s:rsr] – колдун, чародей
tribe [traib] – племя
thresshing barn [‘rei ba:n] – амбар
urban [‘з:rbn] – городской
wax [wæks] - воск
woodshed [‘wuded] - дровяной сарай
Match the equivalents:
1. unclean force a) дровяной сарай
2. bathhouse b) перспективы замужества/женитьбы
3. woodshed c) гадание
4. marital prospects d) ритуальный
5. divination e) нечистая сила
6. threshing barn f) баня
7. ritual g) амбар
8. belief h) предсказание
9. emphasis i) вера
10.prediction j) сильное ударение/упор (на слове
Write in English:
В традиционной русской культуре; важная социальная функция; святки; в наше время; ведьмин час; нечистая сила; перекресток; упор на удачное замужество/женитьбу; многочисленные ритуалы; расплавленный воск; рассматривать фигуры; клевать; гадалка; качество замужней жизни; толкователь снов; правильное место; дровяной сарай.
Write in Russian:
To melt wax and pour it out; a bridegroom; fortune-telling; popular culture; to indicate traditional rural practices; throwing a shoe; asking the name; pulling out a log; listening in; Slavic tribes; chieftans, sorceres and witches; a social function; pastime; to scrutinize the figures; urban groups; to tell fortune, a woodshed.
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