Rites and customs of the Kyrgyz people

The most traditional custom in the Kyrgyz - like all people - is hospitality. Since ancient times, everyone whose path passes through Kyrgyz village, never left him, not separated from the masters table and shelter. Folk traditions, customs and rituals of Kyrgyz people to determine the nomadic way of life. Notable among them are the family and everyday practices that adding up over the centuries, reflecting the accumulated wisdom of many generations.

The customs and rituals associated with childbirth
The customs and rituals associated with the matchmaking, engagement and wedding
Funeral customs and rites of the Kyrgyz people
The customs and rituals associated with migrations, receiving guests, gift
Calendar customs and rituals, cults

The customs and rituals associated with childbirth
Even before birth a pregnant woman be properly protected from the heavy household chores, forbidden to go beyond Ail, unaccompanied, with all sorts of magical spells and amulets to protect from the impure forces and evil spirits. It must append to his clothes with an amulet sewn up in her reading of the Koran, as an amulet from the claws of a bear paw owl. Amulet worn on the left side of the chest near the shoulder. To escort women giving birth by the evil spirits during childbirth in the tent during the day and night were on fire. Around the hearth put the knife edge of the door. On slatted frame tent, a woman above his head hung a loaded gun. These items, according to superstition, and driven off to scare away evil spirits and harmful forces.
On the occasion of the birth of a baby there was a range of actions, filled with extraordinary joy. This suyunchu - warning, in order to get a gift for reporting good news, korunduk - gifts for the right to see the baby for the first time, zhentek or cradle that - a feast, which is satisfied after the baby all the brethren.
Custom of naming the name was given special significance. It is believed that the child must give the name or the most respected man or the first who saw the child, because the name has strong magical properties and can influence the destiny of man.
According to custom, the first food of the newborn was melted butter, which gave him suck, then put the first shirt - dog shirt. It was made from scraps of white cloth, taken from the laundry the old person or a respectable old woman with many children. This shirt is sometimes first put on the dog (touching his torso), and then on the child, hence its name. All of these actions relate to believe: to live a long and happy life, be healthy and sturdy.
After forty days of the child are placed in the cradle, to this it is washed by the warm water of the forty spoons instead of a dog wearing a different shirt shirt sewn from scraps of forty different matter that my mother or my aunt to beg the neighbors, or older people, cut their hair, forty-bake cakes and give them to children.
According to the custom of children protected from evil spirits and bad eyes. Serves this purpose various amulets, which append to the cradle of the child or sewn to your clothes. Amulets were a variety of animals and birds, beads. If the family did not survive the boys, born a boy put on the leg strap, pass through in one ear, earring, braided her hair and dressed up circumcision as a girl.
Ritual acts against a newborn baby's abundant presence of various acts of magic, animistic nature. All this suggests that the preservation and multiplication of progeny, was considered a main concern of the Kyrgyz, the raison d'être. Regarded as a happy family, which has ten or more children. House with the children - a market (in the sense of cheerful, happy family), a house without children - the grave "- said the Kirghiz.
When the child begins to make the first independent steps, make merry - ceremonies on the first steps of the child. For this child taken out and placed in front of yurt, bandaging legs thread, woven of two thin woolen yarns. Moreover, the threads must have been white and black colors. They symbolized the struggle of two principles - light and darkness, good and evil. Human life on the submissions of the Kyrgyz, was like a bright, happy days and sad. Therefore, a child must be prepared for all situations of life.
The ritual usually begins in the morning. On the opposite side of yurts, where there is a child with bandaged legs, meet the baby on the team started running children aged from 8 to 12 years. Those who have resorted first picked up a knife, which he gave one of the relatives of the baby, cut the shackles on his legs. This knife he took himself, in addition, receive a small prize. At the request of participants of the ceremony run was repeated several times: running older children, then adults. The winner of each race cut a new shackles, picked up a knife, received the prize. The purpose of this race - a magical way to make sure that the child quickly learned to walk independently. This ritual in its main features and functions at present.
The transition from one state to another age and sex also occurred perform certain rituals and practices, while the older age, the less ceremonial actions. Boys aged 3,5 or 7 years (necessarily odd), according to Islamic precepts, arranged circumcision, girls in the 9-10 age ceremony staged plaited braids. On this day, the girl unbraid two braids, which she wore around the ears or the back, and braided to 20 small braids. Since then she became an adult. Was changing her clothes, to complicate the rules of conduct: she tried to stay humble, avoiding the play and run around with children, observing a certain etiquette.
The custom of the first landing on the horse, the first shave his mustache. Upon reaching adolescence father slaughtered cattle, and sent his son to one of the relatives or friends. Those staged ceremony shave (trim) mustache, gave him a horse and sent back.
In the Kyrgyz existed own calendar of twelve-year cycle, is the name of animals. Each cycle of twelve years, the Kirghiz called "muchol. In calculating the first twelve-year cycle was added a year-natal period of life, ie "Bir muchol" - 13 years, "eki muchol" - 25 years, etc. Birthdays observed, as usual, only during the completion of 12 - year cycle (13, 25, 37, etc.). The first time 13 years, muchol noted solemnly, slaughtered a sheep, inviting relatives and friends. Birthdays on this day wore a red shirt and gave advice. In the Kyrgyz was believed a year muchol in the human body is changing, it can be very sick. So a few months before muchol he should give another of his old clothes, give donations. After this ritual the parents completely trust the son of their own graze livestock, to participate in various entertainment.

From ancient times, have a tradition of attracting the Kyrgyz nurses for the newborn. In the villages, especially in a nomadic village, in the event of illness mothers Society selects neonatal nurse, which, without prejudice to their own child fattening and others. The nurse was worshiped along with the natural mother and her children brought newborn foster brothers and sisters. This relationship is almost vital, foster brothers and sisters were forbidden to enter into marriage. When the time came to take away the child from the breast, an event noted particular triumph - a kind of "redemption of the child from the nurse." Parents are warmly thanked the nurse, and served up her presents.

The customs and rituals associated with the matchmaking, engagement and wedding.
Varied and interesting customs and rituals associated with the matchmaking, engagement and wedding. Wedding games, paying bride price, dowry of the bride, the exchange of clothing between the new family, seeing the bride and other ritual actions associated with the wedding, in a modernized form of strict compliance, and at this time.
According to custom, there were earlier forms of courtship, unborn children and infants. In the first case, on the future wedding of unborn children agreed loyal to each other friends, or entirely by strangers, but in the most tragic moment stretched out a helping hand. This gave the oath to become related to the eyelids to confirm this word ritual actions - touching his teeth to the bow arm, sucking the blood ring finger from each other (they made an incision on the finger), nadlamyvanie branch exchange of saliva, etc. If the life circumstances of children's marriage did not go well, they were sworn friends. According to custom, the parents of future bridegroom wore a little girl's ear silver earrings.
There was a custom of premarital dating bride and groom. Long before the wedding the groom with his close friends stayed close to the Ail bride. For meeting the future newlyweds specially put yurt with all the decorations. At the interview were organized various youth games, entertainment. Before entering the tent, where he was waiting for the bride with her friends, he was outside the tent through a small hole was supposed to knock down the bride's headpiece. All this was accompanied by funny jokes. Then arranged a meeting the groom and bride. Arranged activities such as tying, fishing mares, catch a girl, etc. This act, a meeting with the bride, lasted until the morning and had the final character in preparation for the wedding. Finally, before the wedding, 15 days before her abduction in his village, after the manner of the groom gave the bride treat ailu.
Wedding, and related customs and ceremonies are very colorful and meaningful part of the entire ceremonial complex. On the day of arrival of parents, relatives of the groom in the village bride's father arranged a grand wedding feast. On the eve of the arrival groom girl as usual, good-bye with all the rounds of all the relatives, arranged for a hen-party peers. Sami wedding celebrations were accompanied by performances and amusements, containing a lot of games, song and music and competitive elements. Seeing moloduhi and departure to the village the groom accompanied by various ritual actions and equestrian sports. Before the procession, holding up a thick rope, the groom's parents were forced to pay off distribution of small gifts. In the house of the bride's father is concentrated ritual: a woman opened specially brought gifts to the groom's relatives, after some time handing out imported luxury clothing for parents, close relatives of the bride. At the same time there was the ritual transfer of bride "bride-price". In the "bride-price" includes, mainly cattle, while the number of animals of different species of animals had to be at nine. At nine wooden bowls brought the ritual food, clothing and small items.
On the eve of the wedding cousin girl unbraid girlish braids and braided women's braids. This ceremony was the dedication to go to other adult age categories. She directed the kind words, be a good housekeeper and faithful wife. In full wedding attire, accompanied by daughter in law and moloduh bride for the first time showed the parents, for which the accompanying received gifts. When the wire to the village of the bride groom the custom, which was accompanied by loud laments, lamentations of women. According to tradition, if a girl is married, she always left her father's family, she married as a stranger, "woman - a stranger kind" - said the Kirghiz and saw her as if to rest.
After moving to the village the groom arranged such ritual acts as a disguise bridal headwear - on her head wore a white turban, posyaschenie fire, marriage, bride bride's parents planted the appointment, etc.
For her daughter a custom ban. So, she could not sit with his back to her husband's relatives, sitting with an outstretched leg, sharp and loud talking, walking bareheaded, barefoot, to call on behalf of the husband's family and had to avoid direct meetings with senior relatives of her husband. This ban has acted throughout the life sister. Even in very old woman in a tribute to not mentioning any names of the dead husband's relatives, for them, their names are articulated, one of those present, who knew them. However, older relatives and themselves husband respected the special etiquette in relation to the daughter in law.
The ritual significance was the custom of initiation of fire. Each family is akin to inviting the newlyweds in turn, acquainted with relatives of her husband's daughter, in their honor slaughtered cattle, put on her head a white handkerchief. White symbolizes purity in Kyrgyz, happy way, happiness and pure thoughts.
According to custom, the daughter a year later attended ail his own father, and stayed there for several days or months. At common law, parents were prepared bride's dowry, which passed on the wedding day the groom. As part of the dowry consisted of all that is necessary for the life of the newlyweds: from a needle and thread to the cattle. Moreover, the dowry should not be less than the redemption-bride.
Traditionally, there is a certain hierarchy of weddings. The oldest son must marry before his younger brothers. The youngest son must wait until marries his older brothers. Although this tradition is often not respected.
According to Kyrgyz tradition, the youngest son to take care of their parents. Older brothers can marry and leave home to establish their own families - by tradition they gave a yurt - but not the youngest son, who stayed with his parents and inherited their tent.
Ala-Kachuu - theft of the bride:
Today, historians, ethnographers, experts in the traditions, elders and baybiche, in one voice say that the traditional bride abduction "kiz ala kachuu" - not an ancient Kyrgyz tradition to be proud of, but rather a negative phenomenon, irrelevant to the folk wisdom is not available.
It "ala kachuu", which literally translated means "take and run", is different. At best, the guy steals a girl, after obtaining her consent. But most of the local Romeo, along with a couple-three of his cronies by force pushes Juliet in the vending machine, and she saw him the first time in his life or is not yet aware of the fervent feelings of a random acquaintance. In a word, ala kachuu in pure form.
In tears, the resistance, a poor victim's hysterical guys are usually pretty drunk, not paying attention. Their main task: to deliver the girl to her parents' house, where women will wear her head scarf, signifying consent to the marriage. If you come across a girl with character, her suit, this psychological pressure - put at the threshold of children, thrown under the feet bread and salt. After all, if irreconcilable arrogant woman still leaves the house - on them will be a long laugh. But rarely abducted girl decided to cross through it. Then, on national signs, she will be unhappy future.
For a girl to return home, is considered a great disgrace, and even her own parents often avoid their daughters to do so, resulting in a lot of "stolen bride" take its destiny.
Stealing the bride, however, does not eliminate the groom from the bride price payment (the bride) - give the girl's parents - usually in the form of livestock (sheep, horses, cattle) as well as various gifts. According to one source - the price of the bride can reach five horses, but much depends on the viability of the family.
But couples still should register their marriage, or the bride will be deemed as "unofficial wife." 
Every year in Kyrgyzstan, there are up to 12,000 abductions of girls and women, most of whom are faced with violence. Official statistics in such cases are minimal in the country, since the victims do not go to the police for help. An act of law came out for commitment of this crime (kidnapping of women for marriage), for which an imprisonment for a term of five to seven years will be enforced.

Funeral customs and rites of the Kyrgyz people
Almost all the funeral customs of the Kirghiz been heavily influenced by pre-Islamic or Islamic traditions. It is obligatory rituals with cutting horse or a cow on the day of death, by money, animals, matter present at the funeral. The most significant part of the funeral rites - respect for the dead. In the dying state of every person leaves a will, which is performed as desired by the deceased. When the dying young man, through the upper frame of the yurt exhibited a pole with a red flag, if the middle-aged man - a black flag, if the dying old man, it exhibited a white flag. It was a ritual sign for arriving at the funeral guests. In the tent, where was the body of the deceased, could only be female. If the husband died, the wife untwist hair, scratched her face and wailed loudly. All the women in the tent sat face to the wall and wailing loudly. Wife of the deceased only in the seventh or fortieth day allows you to collect hair.
Cycle provozhaniya the deceased on his last journey consisted of several stages: the funeral rites - notification of death of the deceased husband's image, dressing in sackcloth, weeping, and the location of reception guests, washing of corpse, wrapping a corpse in a shroud, farewell, funeral, rites poslepohoronnye - general crying returning from the graves of people, distribution of clothes and personal belongings of the deceased. And if a woman dies, then handed out small-sized (50x50 cm) sections of tissue, and a memorial common meal. Memorial cycle consisted of three-day, seven-day, forty days and anniversaries. The final ceremony ends with the mourning for the dead.
With respect to the dead and ancestors existed a number of cults, the basis of which was animistic representations originating from the idea of the actual existence of the spirits of the dead and ancestors. It was believed that the spirits of ancestors patronize surviving relatives. Funeral meals must eat up to the end, because they believed that the spirits will be fed and satisfied from the meal, arranged in their honor. There was an idea that the spirits of the dead eat the smell of meat or bacon, from time to time for the family and relatives staged funeral meal.
In the funereal and commemorative ceremonies Kyrgyz manifest the best, the noble features of the people: compassion, the general state of mourning. All the relatives of clear and timely perform their functions: someone was responsible for warning someone for the reception and location of visitors, some for cooking, etc., the overall direction was carried out by the Council of the closest relatives of the deceased. Provided with full order and the safety of the participants of the funeral process. During the funeral manifested the best qualities of the person, ability to work cohesively in a group, obediently followed the instructions of senior, there were special tact and propriety in the relationship. If there were any arguments, the decisions they were left to poslepohoronnoe time. The manifestation of bad temper, arrogance, conflict, indifference to the events was considered an act of disrespect to the memory of the deceased, such person immediately suspended from the funeral. At the funeral were required to attend all family members, wherever they are. It was a tribute to the memory of the deceased. No cause could justify the absence of any of the relatives of the deceased.
The burden of funeral expenses fall on relatives and relatives, as well as matchmakers. Each group of participants brought with them a mandatory basis a certain number of cattle. As a result of the family of the deceased is not deteriorated.
An integral part of funereal and memorial ceremonies it was customary to arrange horse-racing competitions. They were divided into small and big jumps. Small staged on the day of the funeral, they differed numerically small parties. Big races were held on the anniversary. They differed crowded, the number of large prizes and a variety of competitions themselves. These competitions fully able to arrange only rich families and genera. They lasted for several days and turned into a grandiose spectacle, a nationwide theater. In between the major competitions were held a variety of small games and entertainment, in which women participated. They also participated in large, ie men's matches, as bouts of peaks, struggle and a race, etc.
In the last day of the commemoration ceremony staged withdrawal of mourning. Close relatives of the deceased, wife, daughter shot a black mourning clothes and burned. All boilers are brewed commemorative dishes, left for several days in an overturned by standing, and the image of the deceased was taken to the grave. Only after these rituals the family, born late to go to a normal daily life.
Many rites funereal and commemorative cycle, with the exception of equestrian sports and games, which were held on the anniversary of a person's death, continue to exist today.

The customs and rituals associated with migrations, receiving guests, gift.
Kyrgyz, with the exception of some small groups, led a nomadic life. Depending on the season moved from winter encampments in the valley and the valley or up to the mountains. Usually ail and their livestock was going to summer pastures with the advent of green grass. Before the month of August, gradually migrating, reached up to alpine meadows where cattle gained fat and become well fed. On the day of transfer all wore festive clothes and jewelry. According to custom, on the eve of transition to the old camp, set up a sacrifice. Along the way they met other ayily and served up in cups soft drinks, children were given refreshments and blessed in the good way. On arrival at the new location neighbors visited the new village, bringing with them as a ready-made meals and refreshments blessed to stay safe.
Hospitality was considered one of the beautiful folk customs. All the best, that was at home: food, bedding, and general household devote attention to the guest. Guests could be: casual traveler, invited. If the yurt approaching riders, make sure to meet them came out and helped the hosts to come down from his horse, was invited to the yurt. In the Kyrgyz pending the move was to ask questions, inquire about the purpose of arrival. The guests will definitely provide accommodation (if denied lodging or provide an uncomfortable bed for sleep, the guest is malcontent leave this family and spread rumors among ailchan about bad hospitality). Such hospitality was condemned by public opinion. The owner was responsible for the safety of things and fodder for horses guests.
In the system of relationships between certain categories of people it was the custom of gift. Gave cattle, hunting birds, articles of horse harness, whip, musical instruments, jewelry, etc. According to custom, the recipient of the gift reciprocated, but they certainly had to give a more tangible things.
In the traditional culture of the Kyrgyz people a special place was occupied by the tribal custom of mutual assistance. In all cases, the life of Kyrgyz mandatory participation took relatives and provided moral and material assistance. If the family is experiencing an acute need for food, shelter, clothing, all relatives, ailchane came to her aid. Special cohesion and collectivism different family-related groups. Such groups usually consisted of several dozen families, and in 3, 4, 5 extensions genera had a common ancestor, whose name was called this group. Life of families of these groups proceeded in many cases together: to organize a joint grazing together to protect livestock and the safety of members of the group. The oldest group of people organized and coordinated many aspects of life, economy related families.

Calendar customs and rituals, cults.

Popular character was the custom of meeting in the spring New Year "Nooruz", which is celebrated on March 21, the vernal equinox. This custom genetically ascended in Zoroastrianism, and was closely associated with spring, with the idea of reviving nature. The day before the women Ail day ritual cooked dish - thin gruel of germinated wheat grain with milk and a small amount of meat. On the day of the New Year, all residents Ail dressed in new clothes. Congratulated each other on New Year, fumigated with juniper smoke houses, yurts, cattle and ate porridge ritual. Bonfires, men and children danced through them, believed that the fire has a cleansing and recovers strength. Efforts have equestrian sports, and entertainment.
Along with this holiday, there was a custom of bringing or propitiatory offering of thanks deity Earth-Water. Most often, this ritual is performed twice a year: spring, when a green in the mountains and began lambing, and in the autumn, during the migrations of grazing on winter camp when preparing for winter. Slaughtering of sacrificial animals, preparing a ritual meal. All members of ail communities participated in the ritual. At the end of the meal recited a prayer asking god to protect them from natural disasters and misfortunes. During a drought or flooding also arranged individual and collective sacrifice with propitiatory, redemptive requests or blessings. Most of the ritual action ended with the mention of the ancient deities of the Kyrgyz.
Some customs, rites Kyrgyz emerged and developed in the pre-Islamic period in the history of the Kyrgyz people. With the adoption of Islam in the Kyrgyz customs and rituals have taken place some changes, in some cases have found the development of entirely new practices. These include reading from the Koran funeral prayer, forgiveness of sins, all the five precepts of Islam, the post during the month - "Ramadan", "Orozo holiday", the Feast of Sacrifice - "Kurman Ait.
Kurman Ait or Eid al-Adha - the most significant for the Muslim holiday - the Feast of Sacrifice. Lasts 3 - 4 days. On this day must be sacrificed animals, killing sheep and lambs. This ritual should make every believer is a Muslim. A Muslim who commits a sacrifice, should not skimp on food, be sure to feed the poor and hungry.
In the ritual celebration included a special prayer. On this day to visit the graves of ancestors, visit friends, to make gifts. Kurman-Ait symbolizes for Muslims omnipotence and mercy of the Almighty Creator.

Orozo Ait lasts three days and ends one month post Ramazan, or Ramadan, during which devout Muslims all daylight hours can not eat, drink, smoke. All this can be done only at night. This is a celebration of spiritual and physical purification. Fasting prior to the holiday, is one of the five requirements that must fulfill a Muslim. Thirty-day post must comply with all Muslims, except for pregnant women, sick, travelers and participating in battles. If for these reasons that a Muslim is not fasting, he should feed one poor person for a month, or once every 30 poor people, and the post moved to another time. In the days Orozo Ait believer visits the graves of their relatives and friends, meets with friends and relatives, baked boorsoki, lit candles and read the Koran.

Chechkor - harvest - has long been celebrated in the Kyrgyz people. The Kyrgyz "Chech" - five-fingered forks that are used during operations on the current. In this way is called a holiday. It is dedicated to the patrons and the first teacher of farmers, workers, good people, as well as saints. To these saints honored by his presence contributed to the success of work and the multiplication of seeds, filled with magic prescription: threshing came all by committing ritual, prayer was offered, to cut the animal. Meat prepared meals for neighbors, part of the grain stood out to widows, orphans and beggars.
Who was driving or walking past the current or went there, welcomed working with the words: "good umolota.

Toy. There are several events to organize the celebration on the occasion of some important moments in the life of the child, such as birthday, called on the Kyrgyz "Toy". This word is translated as "banquet" - or simply "satisfaction of hunger."

Respect for elders. The Japanese have a national holiday "Respect for the elderly. It would be a good holiday for Kyrgyzstan, as there are strong traditions of respect for elders. In Soviet times, was a day of "parents" who sometimes still occur, but it is not an official holiday.

Another good tradition of Kyrgyz people - adoption of children. Typically, this kids large family and friends. All of them are brought up as a family. A survey of Kyrgyz families has shown that adoption is linked to the childless, the desire to have, except for adults, young children, the desire to help large families.

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