Lada Festival (22/09)

The special status of Lada - the great goddess of spring-summer fertility and the patroness of weddings, marriage life - led to the plurality of holidays dedicated to her: they were celebrated six times a year, from early March to mid-September. The rituals associated with Lada were usually timed to coincide with the spring-summer and autumn cycle of holidays.

In particular, it was Lada and her daughter Lelya (Lelnik) who were asked for permission to call for spring. Then the goddess was addressed before the start of summer field work. The rest of the rituals were associated with the spring-summer cycle of prayers for rain, the festival of the first greenery, the first shoots, the first and last ears.

On the Red Hill holiday, which was mostly dedicated to Lada, the girls played the game "And we sowed millet, sowed it." The place of its holding was a hill (red hill). The players were divided into two groups - one sang about sowing millet, the other about trampling it. Trampling meant the end of the whole cycle - the threshing of bread.

Perhaps it was just such a game that the chronicler described, noting that the Slavs “arranged games between the village and that wife’s sly.” The researchers also found that Lada was also approached to ensure the well-being of a future marriage. Often it was in the middle of summer, by autumn, that a decision was made to conclude a marriage union, although the wedding was played much later, after the completion of field work.

The cycle of glorifying the goddess ended after the harvest (in late August - early September), so the last holiday associated with Lada was the holiday of the autumn equinox.