Kydyrlez is a festival of Crimean Tatars, which they have been celebrating since paganism. He divides the year into two halves. It is believed that it is from Kydyrleza that summer begins and lasts until the day of Kasym – November 8 (both dates coincide with the Christian calendar – the day of St. George and St. Demetrius). This holiday always falls on the time of flowering of trees, from this time in the Crimea, cattle dropping to the egg and hiring of workers for fieldwork began.
The word kydyrlez itself consists of the names of two saints. Kydyr, dressed in green clothes, going around the globe from right to left, meets with Ilyas, who protects a man on the water (therefore, it was customary for the southern coastal Tatars to take boats out to sea on this day). On May 6, the saints converge with each other.
Preparation for the holiday begins three days before it with cleaning the house, yard. Then the young people visit the elderly, go on a visit to ask each other for forgiveness for the insults.
Bonfires are made in the evening outside the village, through which children jump. In houses, herbs and flowers are necessarily put in dishes with water. Girls are wondering about the future, throwing their jewellery in bowls of water.
The main rites are observed on the day of Kydyrlez. Whole villages people go to the forest, fields, to holy places, where there are springs, to cleanse them and clean themselves. The behaviour of the spring is also a whole rite: first, you need to “open your eyes” to the spring, i.e. clear it, then there’s a prayer over it, and only then you can drink from it.
A special place at this holiday is given to a woman because she is a continuer of the clan, the bearer of the life-giving force of nature. On this day, girls swing on a swing, and women slide down a hill, sharing their female strength with the earth and receiving the gift of motherhood from nature. For the same purpose, roll bread from the mountain (kalak’ ay). There is a belief: if kalakay falls on the upper side – to be a productive year, the lower part – to crop failure.
Songs and ritual dances last all day, but we must not forget about the graves of their ancestors, who are also honoured on this day.
Kydyrlez will come to Crimea soon.