Foreign Europe includes the territory of Europe to the west of the borders of the Russian Federation with a total area of ​​about 6 million square meters. km. The geographic zonality of the Overseas Europe is determined by the combination of broad lowlands (the eastern part of the Eastern European Plain, the Middle European, Lower and Middle Dnei plains, the Paris basin) and a number of mountain ranges (Alps, Balkans, Carpathians, Apennines, Pyrenees, Scandinavian mountains). The coastline is heavily indented, has a large number of bays, convenient for navigation. There are many rivers running through the territory of the region, the longest of which are the Danube, the Dnieper, the Rhine, the Elbe, the Vistula, the Western Dvina (Daugava), the Loire. For most of Europe, a temperate climate is typical, for Southern Europe - Mediterranean, for the extreme north - subarctic and Arctic.

The vast majority of the population of modern Europe speaks the languages ​​of the Indo-European family. The period of existence of a common Indo-European language dates back to the V-IV millennium BC. At the end of this period, the migration of their carriers began and the formation of individual Indo-European languages. The geographical localization of the ancestral home of the Indo-Europeans is not exactly established. Various hypotheses put it on the Balkan peninsula, Asia Minor, in the Black Sea region. In the II-I millennium BC. Indo-European languages ​​spread throughout Europe, but as far back as the 1st millennium BC. the peoples of non-Indo-European origin remained: the Etruscans in Italy, the Iberians on the Iberian Peninsula, etc. Currently, only the Basques living in the north of Spain and the surrounding areas of France are native speakers of the pre-Indo-European era and have no kinship with any other modern languages.

During the resettlement across Europe, separate groups of Indo-European languages ​​were formed: Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, Greek, Albanian, Baltic, and also Thracian now non-existent.

Romance languages ​​date back to the Latin, which spread in the first centuries of our era but the territory of the Roman Empire. They are spoken by such numerous peoples of the south-west and west of Europe as French (54 million people in foreign Europe), Italians (53 million people), Spaniards (40 million people), Portuguese (12 million). . The Romance group includes the languages ​​of the Walloons of Belgium, the Corsicans inhabiting Corsica, the Catalans and Galicians of Spain, the Sardines of the Italian island of Sardinia (in a number of classifications they are regarded as a group of Italians), Romansh (Frees, Ladins and Romans) in north-eastern Italy and southern Switzerland, Franco-Swiss, Italian-Swiss, San Marinians, Andorrians, Monks (Monegasques). The East Romanian subgroup is joined by the languages ​​of the Romanians, Moldavians, and also of the aroma living dispersely in the Balkan peninsula.

Languages ​​of the German group are common in Central Europe, where Germans live (more than 75 million people). The German language is also spoken by Austrians, German-Swiss, Liechtensteiners. In Northern Europe, the Swedes (about 8 million people), the Danes, the Norwegians, the Icelanders, the Faroites belong to the peoples of the German group; on the British Isles - the British (45 million people), the Scots - the people of Celtic origin, now transferred to English, as well as the Olchers - the descendants of immigrants to Ulster from England and Scotland; in the Benelux countries - Dutch (13 million people), Flemings (live in Belgium and the surrounding areas of France and the Netherlands), friezes (live in the north of the Netherlands), Luxembourgers. Until the Second World War, a significant part of European Jews spoke Yiddish, which was formed on the basis of German dialects. At present, the Hebrew language of the Semitic group of the Afrasian family is widespread among the Jews. In addition, in everyday life, they communicate in the languages ​​of those peoples in which they live.

The peoples of Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe speak the languages ​​of the Slavic group. Languages ​​of Ukrainians (43 million people) and Belarusians (10 million people), together with the Russian, form the East Slavic subgroup; Poles (38 million people), Czechs, Slovaks and luzichans of East Germany - West Slavic; Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Slovenes, Bulgarians, Macedonians - South Slavic.

Languages ​​of the Celtic group, in the 1st millennium BC. widely distributed in Europe, preserved on the British Isles, where Irish, Welsh and Gaels live (northern Scots who did not switch to English). The language of the Bretons, the population of the Brittany Peninsula (France), is also Celtic.

The Baltic group includes the languages ​​of Lithuanians and Latvians, Greek - Greeks, Albanians - Albanians. The language of European gypsies, whose ancestors migrated to Europe from Asia, belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-European family.

Along with the Indo-Europeans, people living in foreign Europe speak the languages ​​of the Finno-Ugric group of the Uralic language family. These are the Finns (about 5 million people), Estonians (1 million people), the Sami, whose ancestors penetrated from the east to the Baltic Sea area in the 2nd millennium BC, as well as Hungarians (12 million people) - descendants nomads who settled at the end of IX century. on the Danube lowland. In South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, Turks, Tatars, Gagauz, Karaites live, whose languages ​​belong to the Turkic group of the Altaic language family. The language of the Maltese (more than 350 thousand people), formed under the influence of Arabic, belongs to the Semitic group of the Afrasian language family.

The population of Overseas Europe belongs to a large European race, within the boundaries of which it forms the Atlantobaltic, White Sea-Baltic, Middle European, Indo-Mediterranean, Balkan-Caucasian minor races.

Economy. Peoples of Abroad belong to the collective farm of cultivated farmers. In the mountainous area in small plots of land until the XX century. elements of manual farming were preserved. For example, the Basques used for loosening the land the ascendant to the Neolithic era, the Laya tool, consisting of two sharp rods fixed to a wooden handle.

For the Apennines and the Iberian Peninsula, a light wheelless plow of Roman (Italic) type, suitable for processing stony, low-fertility soils, was characteristic. To the north, a heavy asymmetric plow with a wheel front, which dates back to the Celtic cultural tradition, was distributed. The peoples of Eastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula used a Slavic plow with a skid. Archaic arable tools lasted longer in this zone. The peoples of the Balkan Peninsula back in the XIX century. used a light ralo with a symmetrical share, which, unlike the later plow, did not have a wheeled wheel and a blade.

In the Middle Ages, two-field and three-field crop rotations were typical for European farming, and for forest areas of Eastern and Northern Europe with low population density, slash-and-burn farming, which was preserved in Finland until the beginning of the 20th century.

In the XVIII-XIX centuries. In Europe there was an industrial revolution that affected agrarian production. The centers of invention and introduction of new agricultural technologies and tools of labor during this period were England and Flanders, whose economies were distinguished by the early development of capitalist relations. Here in the middle of the XVIII century. began to use light Brabant (Norfolk) plow, which increased the depth of plowing and reduced the number of weeds on the field, developed agronomic knowledge, introduced multi-field crop rotation systems, which were subsequently introduced and improved in other European countries.

Traditionally in Europe, grains were grown (wheat, barley, oats, in cooler areas - rye), legumes, vegetable crops, root crops (turnip, pork). In the XVI-XIX centuries. there was the introduction of new crops, including corn, potatoes, tobacco, as well as sugar beets imported from the New World.

Currently, grain farming is developed in the southern part of Europe Abroad, including Ukraine. In a more northern zone, agriculture is focused on growing potatoes and vegetables.

The climatic conditions of Southern Europe are favorable for agriculture, where olives, citrus fruits, rice, which appeared in Spain and Italy under the influence of the Arabs, are cultivated, and the Turks on the Balkan Peninsula. Here wine cultivation and associated winemaking have long been developed. The culture of grapes has become very popular among European peoples and is grown in the north right up to Germany and the Czech Republic, and in small quantities even in England.

The peoples of Northern Europe - Icelanders, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns - agriculture was of less importance because of the severe climate and infertile soils. An important role in the economy of this region was played by livestock, fishing, various crafts.

Livestock (breeding of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs) is practiced in Europe everywhere. It is most significant in the mountainous regions inconvenient for agriculture (Alps, Carpathians, Apennines, Balkans). Transhumant livestock raising with vertical hauling of the herd with the change of two or three pastures during the season was the main occupation of some groups of the population of the Alpine zone, where cattle were bred, as well as Polish gurals engaged in sheep breeding in the Beskids, Moravian valachs of the Czech Republic, Transylvanian Hungarians, the Aromans of the Balkan Mountains

In a number of cases, the primary development of livestock breeding was determined by the commercial advantage: meat and dairy farming in Denmark and North-West Germany; Sheep breeding in England, where sheep wool has become an important subject of export. Sheep breeding has acquired special significance in the Faroe Islands, whose climate is extremely unfavorable for agriculture.

Fisheries were of the greatest importance for the inhabitants of the Atlantic coast. Portuguese, Galician, Basques caught cod, sardines, anchovies. The main object of fishing for Dutch fishermen was herring. The peoples of Northern Europe - Norwegians, Icelanders, Faroese, Danes have long practiced sea fishing (cod and herring fishing) and whaling. In particular, the Faroese fished the grinda whale, the migration routes of which pass the Faroe Islands.

The Finns developed lake and river fishing, as well as hunting. The northernmost people of Europe, the Saami, engaged in reindeer herding, hunting and fishing.

The dwelling was dependent on climatic conditions and the availability of building material. Due to the fact that in many areas of Europe Abroad, the forests have been felled, the frame structures of houses and brick buildings have spread here. The tree is widely used in construction to date in Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltics, Belarus.

For the southern part of Europe Abroad, a southern European type of house is typical, which evolved from a room with a fireplace, later additional residential and utility premises were attached to it. South European house can be single-storey, and have several floors. The most common variant of it - the Mediterranean house consists of two floors, the lower one of which is economic, the upper one - residential. The house is distributed throughout the Mediterranean from Portugal to Turkey. The houses were built of brick and stone, and on the Balkan Peninsula, up to deforestation, also used logging equipment. The farmstead (house and adjoining farm buildings) often had a plan for a closed quadrangle with an open courtyard. The court could have economic functions (Italians of the Alpine zone kept cattle in this yard) or was a resting place (Spaniards of Andalusia).

Albanians, along with Mediterranean houses, had inhabited stone towers - "kuly" (square or rectangular in plan), which also had a defensive function.

In the Central and Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Northern France, the house of the Western Central European type is common. Originally this house consisted of an average room with a fireplace and a bread oven (it was led by a door from the street) and two side rooms. Subsequently, the number of rooms increased, household premises were added to the house, forming a verb-like or a restless courtyard. One-story (France, Belgium) and two-story (Germany) variants of this type are known.

Northern Germany, the Netherlands, Alsace and Lorraine are characterized by a North European type house, developed from a single-chamber building with a gate in a narrow wall. The main part of it was occupied by the threshing floor, along the side walls there were stalls for cattle, and at the opposite wall there was a residential part with a fireplace. Later, a wall appeared, separating the utility room from the residential building, although in the XVII century. met at home without such a wall. The same type of house was brought to modern England by the ancestors of the English - Angles and Saxons, who moved to the British Islands in the VI. When agriculture in England lost its importance, the barn turned into a hall - a spacious front.

In Germany, the construction of houses of frame construction, known under the German term "fachwerk". In such structures, the bearing base is made of sections of dark wooden beams visible from the outside of the house. The space between the beams is filled with adobe or brick, then plastered and whitened.

Half-timbered construction is used in the construction of houses of the Western European type.

The dwelling of Western and Eastern Slavs, parts of Austrians, Hungarians refers to the Eastern Central European type. Its basis was a one-chamber construction of a log or column structure with a fireplace or a stove (hut/hut). The entrance was through a cold annexe. Since the XIX century. to the dwelling was attached a cage-kamora, which in the past was an independent building. As a result, the dwelling acquired the following layout: cottage - hut (kamora). In the canopy they carried the hearth and the mouth of the furnace, the body of which was in the hut, thereby becoming warm and turning into a kitchen. The more ancient are the log buildings. In the Czech tradition, the gaps between the logs were plugged with moss and covered with clay, which was painted in various colors. Sometimes the walls of the log were whitened entirely. Since the XVI century. in Western Poland, the Czech Republic under the German influence spread skeleton technology (half-timbered).

For Finland, Northern Sweden, Northern Norway, there was a North-Norwegian type of dwelling - a log house with a gable roof, consisting of a living room with a stove, a clean room and cold corridors between them. The house was planked with planks, which were usually painted in dark colors.

In southern Sweden, southern Norway and Denmark, dominated by houses of the South Scandinavian type, consisting of an average living room with a wood oven and hearth (in Denmark only with an oven) and two rooms but on each side. The framework (cellular) technique, similar to the German half-timber frame, prevailed.

For the North and South-Scandinavian types, a closed type of a courtyard was typical, in the southern zone - also unobtrusive or with a free arrangement of buildings. In Finland, Northern Sweden and Norway, there were two-story log houses and barns. In Finland, the obligatory construction of the estate was a sauna (sauna).

The original types of dwellings were formed among peoples living in mountainous areas, where there was a need to combine living and household premises in a small area of ​​the area. In the Alpine mountains, the area of ​​residence of the Bavarian Germans, the Austrians, the peoples of Switzerland, for example, the alpine type of the house is a huge two- or three-storeyed building with a gable roof, which unites residential and utility premises. The ground floor was usually built of stone, the upper floor was made of logs (as an option, they had a frame structure). Along the front wall at the level of the second floor was a gallery with wooden rails, which was used for drying hay. For Basques of the Pyrenees Mountains, a special type is typical - the Basque house. This is a massive two- or three-storeyed square building with a gable roof and gates in the front wall. In ancient times such a house was built of logs, from the XV century. - made of stone.

Clothing. Common elements of the men's clothing complex of the peoples of Europe abroad were a tunic shirt, trousers, belt, sleeveless jacket. Until the middle of the XIX century. the peoples of the Western part of Europe pants were narrow, a little below the knees, they were worn with short stockings or leggings. In the XIX century. The pants of modern cut and length have spread. The modern costume of Europe's parrots has absorbed many elements of clothing from the nineteenth century Englishmen: jackets, tuxedos, modern raincoats, galoshes, rain umbrellas.

The costumes of the inhabitants of some mountainous areas were original. Such, for example, is a Tyrolean costume characteristic of the inhabitants of the Alps-the Austrians, Germans, and German-Swiss, including a white shirt with a turndown collar, short leather pants on suspenders, a cloth sleeveless jacket, a wide leather belt, knee-high stockings, shoes, a hat with narrow margins and pen.

The components of the men's suit of mountain Scots were a checkered skirt (kilts), knee length, takes a plaid of the same color, a white shirt, a jacket. The color of the kilt corresponded to the clan, although not all the plain clans had their colors in the past.

White men's skirts (fustanella) were worn by Albanians and Greeks, but they were worn over their trousers.

The headdresses of men were hats, the shape of which depended on the current fashion, in the Mediterranean - also hats. In the XIX century. In Europe, soft caps with a visor have spread. Ethno-specific headdress of the Basques was beret.

A typical female costume consisted of a shirt, skirts, sleeveless jackets. The clothes of the Protestant peoples in most cases differed in darker colors.

Archaic versions of women's clothing were preserved in the XIX century. in Eastern Finland: on top of a tunic shirt with embroidery, two uncoated cloths were put on the shoulder straps. Bulgarians met a piece of woolen cloth replacing a skirt, fitting a tunic-like shirt below the waist; the northern Albanians - the so-called "jublet", consisting of a bell-shaped skirt and separate corsages, sleeves and shoulder pads, the fittings of which were decorated with fringe.

In some areas of Europe Abroad there were sundresses. They were worn in Norway, Eastern Finland, Byelorussia, Southern Bulgaria. The shoulder-length scarves were popular. In particular, on the Iberian peninsula were variegated shawls - mantillas. Headdresses served as capes, which could adorn with lace. In the German tradition, women's hats were also distributed.

Men's and women's shoes in most nations were leather. In France, Belgium, the Netherlands they also wore cheap wooden shoes, Belarusians knew bast shoes.

The Muslims of the Balkan Peninsula had specific clothing elements: women - wide trousers, on top of which they wore a skirt, men - a fez - a red hat in the form of a cylinder without fields, originally distributed among Turks.

Of course clothes depended on the climate. Thus, the men's and women's costume of the peoples of Northern Europe included a variety of woolen knitwear, fur garments made from fur.

Food. Bread (both fresh and sour) from wheat, rye, corn flour, porridge, various dough products was widely distributed among the peoples of Europe. For example, typical Italian pizza is typical - open pie type, pasta - various pasta, for Czech - bread dumplings (slices of spiked white bread, served as a garnish). In modern times dishes from potatoes were widely spread. A big place was occupied by potatoes in the kitchen of the Irish, the peoples of the Baltic countries, the Eastern Slavs.

Soups and soup, which were especially diverse in Eastern Europe (borscht from Ukrainians, cabbage soup and borscht from Belarusians). Meat dishes were prepared from pork, beef, lamb, and Icelanders - also from horse meat. It was practiced making sausages, sausages, smoking hams. The French, along with various kinds of meat (including rabbit and pigeon) used to eat frogs, snails, oysters. In Muslim nations, pork is taboo meat. A typical dish of Muslims from the Balkan Peninsula was a pilaf with mutton.

For the inhabitants of the sea and ocean coasts are characteristic fish dishes - fried or boiled sardines and cod with potatoes from Portugueses, herring - from the Dutch, fried fish and French fries - from the English.

In the culture of many peoples of Europe, cheese is practiced. A wide variety of cheese types exists in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany. In Switzerland in the early XX century. the processed cheese was invented. To the dishes of cheese are Fondue (a hot dish of cheese and wine, common in Switzerland and French Savoy), onion soup with cheese (from the French). The Slavic peoples know different ways of milk ripening, the inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula are preparing cheese from sheep's milk - brynza.

For most people, the main non-alcoholic drink is coffee. Tea is popular with the peoples of the British Islands and the Eastern Slavs. The spirits of European nations are diverse. Beer is widely known, the most famous varieties are produced in the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the British Isles. Basque and Bretons were popular cider - a low-alcohol drink from apples. In the viticulture zone, wine is consumed in large quantities. Also known are grape and fruit brandies (for example, slivovitz from Western Slavs), cereal vodka. On the British Isles, whiskey is produced - a strong beverage based on barley, and also gin - juniper vodka, popular also among the Dutch.

Islam does not allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages, so the festive ritual drink of Muslims is coffee.

Religion. Most of the parishes of Europe abroad profess Christianity, which is subdivided into several directions.

Catholicism is practiced by the Irish, the peoples of the Iberian and Apennine Peninsulas (Spaniards, Catalans, Portugueses, Galicians, Basques, Italians), France, Belgium (Walloons and Flemings), Austria, Germans of southern and western Germany, Austrians, part of the population of Switzerland , Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Slovenes, Croats, part of Albanians.

Protestantism is prevalent mainly in the northern part of Europe. The Lutherans are the peoples of Finland and Scandinavia, the Germans of the East of Germany; Calvinists - Franco-Swiss, part of German-Swiss, Dutch, part of Hungarians, Scots; Anglicans - English and Welsh (the latter are also common small Protestant churches, in particular, Methodism).

Orthodoxy is typical for South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. This branch of Christianity is professed by Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Romanians, Aromans, Gagauzians, part of Albanians.

Islam spread to the Balkan peninsula and Crimea during the period when this territory entered the Ottoman Empire. Turks, Crimean Tatars, Bosnians, part of Albanians, Bulgarians, Nomaks are Sunni Muslims, part of Albanians are Shiites belonging to the Bektashit Tariqa. Jews and Karaites profess Judaism. Among the Sami of Abroad, which belong to the Lutheran church, traditional animistic beliefs have also been preserved.

Calendar rituals. Traditional customs and customs of the peoples of Europe abroad have a typological similarity, since they were historically closely related to general agricultural occupations. Pagan rituals were partly preserved in the Christian era. Having lost their former meaning, they were included in the ritual of the Christian festive calendar, or they existed in parallel with the church tradition. Catholicism and Orthodoxy were more loyal to the survivals of paganism. On the contrary, Protestant churches that arose in the 16th century. and fought for the renewal and purification of Christianity, showed intolerance towards them. For this reason, archaic customs and rituals are less evident in the culture of Protestant peoples.

For many peoples - Catholics and Protestants - the beginning of the winter season was St. Martin's Day (November 11). By this day, agricultural work was completed, cattle were brought from mountain pastures. There were meals, the obligatory dishes of which many people had a roast goose. In winemaking areas, for example, Spaniards, Italians, Croats, there was a tasting of young wine, transfusion of it from vats to barrels.

In the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, the popular public holiday was St. Nicholas Day (December 6). St. Nicholas was represented as a man with a long gray beard, in white robes of a bishop. He rode a horse or an ass with a bag of presents behind his back and birch in his hand for disobedient children. During the reformation, Protestants who rejected the cult of saints transferred gifts for Christmas, and St. Nicholas was replaced by other characters: the child Christ, or in the German tradition - the Christmas man ( Weihnachtsmann ). The marches of mummers on the eve of St. Nicholas' Day were preserved in the cities of the Netherlands.

An important holiday was Christmas (December 25). Catholics know the tradition of creating mock-ups of nurseries, in which, but the biblical legend, Jesus Christ was born. In the Christmas nursery put clay or porcelain figurines of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, the baby of Christ and other biblical characters. In the evening on Christmas Eve (December 24), a meal was held in the house, before which the rite of the Christmas log was started. The head of the family put in the hearth a large log, which was supposed to smolder as long as possible, sometimes, like the Italians, twelve days - the so-called period from Christmas to Epiphany, corresponding to Russian Christmas-gifts. The crimson force of the Christmas logs was attributed to the miraculous power.

In the XIX century. across Europe spread the custom of dressing a Christmas tree, originally known in southwestern Germany.

The Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and Christmas were associated with the beliefs about the first guest (razlaznik). The welfare of the family depended on the personality of the newcomer in the following year, so he was often chosen from respected men, his function included performing ritual activities: for example, in Poland, the lazer, entering the hut, sat down and chewed, depicting a chicken. Well-being symbolized also the sheaves that the western Slavs brought to the house on Christmas Eve.

During the twelve-day period in all countries of Europe, groups of children went to their homes, sang songs, and fortune-telling practiced. The festivities ended on the feast of the Epiphany (January 6), known in folk tradition as the Day of Three Kings - the biblical wise men who saw the Bethlehem star and came with gifts to the baby Jesus. There were marches in which the masks of three kings (Melchior, Gaspard, Baltasar) participated, who were represented in the costume of the pseudo-Eastern costume, embroidered with stars.

The Carnival festival was very popular, celebrated for several days before the Great Lent - in German this holiday is also called Fastnacht ("Lenten Night", in the meaning night before fasting). Carnival is characterized by abundant fatty foods, flour products. The symbol of the holiday was a stuffed big fat man, whom the Spaniards called Don Carnaval, Italians - the Carnival King, the Poles - Bacchus. At the end of the festivities, the scarecrow was burned at the stake. In the days of the Carnival, there were rallies of mummers, wearing masks of animals, unclean forces, disguised as clothes of the opposite sex. In the cities of Europe, carnival processions spread throughout the Middle Ages. Then they had a clear regulation, they were attended by representatives of craft shops. In the past, the festival also included ritual activities aimed at ensuring a good harvest, for example, symbolic plowing. Protestant churches since the XVI century. successfully fought carnival traditions, considering them a manifestation of paganism. Thus, among the peoples of Scandinavia, professing Lutheranism, only some games were preserved, the custom of baking special buns and cakes. In modern Europe, the most famous city carnival processions in Cologne (the Catholic Germans) and Venice (Italians).

After the Carnival, the Great Lent began, lasting seven weeks before Easter. The common Christian tradition is the dyeing of eggs. Many people prepare for Easter the roast from a lamb symbolizing the Lamb of God - Jesus Christ. In the German culture, Easter acquired features of a children's holiday. There was a custom to hide eggs in the garden or in the house. If the child found the first red egg first, it promised happiness, blue - unhappiness. It was said that these eggs are brought to the children by rabbits - animals connected in the popular consciousness with fecundity, fertility and wealth, which became one of the symbols of the German Easter celebration.

May Day (May 1) was associated with the onset of the warm season of the year and summer greens. On the eve of the holiday, a May tree was planted on the site of youth festivals (a real tree dug with roots or a decorated pole). During the competition, they chose the May King and Queen - the most clever guy and the most beautiful girl who led the festive procession. The houses were decorated with flowers. In France, the symbol of May 1 became lilies of the valley, which it is customary to give to girls. Among the Germanic peoples there were ideas about the special danger of witches who flock to the Sabbath on the night of May 1 (these people know it as the day of Saint Walpurgia, and the night, respectively, Walpurgis). To protect themselves from evil forces, crosses were painted on the cottage doors, fires were lit, guns were shot into the air, a harrow around the village was being dragged, and the like.

The Day of St. John is associated with the summer solstice (June 24). On the eve of the feast, bonfires burned, medicinal herbs were collected, they guessed. It was believed that the water in the Ivanovo night finds miraculous power. So in the morning they washed themselves with dew or water from sources. The people of Scandinavia set a tree similar to the May tree for St. John's Day (a pole with various ornaments). In many countries, May 1 and St. John's Day are widely celebrated to this day.

By the end of the main summer agricultural works the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin is timed (August 15). The Catholics held solemn processions, the participants of which carried the ears of the new harvest for consecration to the church.

The year of All Saints (November 1) and the Commemoration Day of All the Saints (November 2) ended the year. On the first day, it was customary to attend the church service, and the second to come to the graves of relatives and arrange a memorial meal at home.

The peoples of the British Islands have preserved the holidays associated with the ancient traditions of the Celtic peoples. The Christian All Saints Day (Halloween, November 1) included the ceremonies of the pagan Celtic Feast of Samhein or Samhain (in Gaelic - "the end of summer") - processions of mummers, whose participants wore torches or flashlights made of turnips mounted on long sticks; fortune telling and various games. On August 1, there was the Lugnas festival (on behalf of the pagan god Lug, and later the character of the medieval Irish sagas), which in modern English was called Lammas day (one version, from Loaf-masse - mass of the loaf, on the other - from Lamb mass - masses of lambs). On this day there were festivities of young people, the British brought bread from the flour of a new crop to the church, the Irish arranged a common meal for which they roasted a whole sheep and the first time they cooked fresh potatoes.

The Orthodox people of the Balkan Peninsula began the cold season when cattle were driven from mountain pastures and the sowing of winter crops was completed, St. Dmitri's Day was considered (October 26/November 8), and the beginning of the warm season, when the cattle were driven out to pastures, is Day St. George's (April 23/May 6). By Christmas (December 25/January 7), rituals were celebrated with a Christmas log, the first guest, a snoop. An analogue of the Catholic carnival is known among Orthodox (including the Eastern Slavs) as Maslenitsa. In East Bulgaria, the processions of the Kuksr (festively dressed men), ascending to the ancient Thracian traditions, were preserved. The ritual included the bypassing of the village by the hackers, collecting their gifts (grain, butter, meat), ritual plowing and sowing on the rural area, the symbolic killing of the main kuker and his subsequent resurrection, the purifying bathing of the crackers in the river.

Some ceremonies of ancient origin were timed to coincide with other church holidays. St. Andrew's Day (November 30/December 13), the southern Slavs celebrated as a bear festival - in the popular beliefs Saint Andrew rides a bear. For a bear, whose image in traditional consciousness was associated with fertility, left in front of the house a treat cooked from cobs of corn and dried pears. St. Nicholas Day (December 6/19) was considered a family holiday. Serbs and Montenegrins held a meal with the participation of all members of the family, the central dish of which was the bread consecrated in the church. Arranged meals on the Day of St. Elijah (July 20/August 2), which acquired the features of a pagan god of thunder. On St. John's Day (June 24/July 7) Orthodox, as well as Catholics and Protestants, lit fires, collected herbs, wreathed wreaths, guessed. Serbs and Montenegrins performed similar rituals also on St. Peter's Day (June 29/July 12).

The rituals of the Belarusians and Ukrainians had their own peculiarities in connection with the climatic conditions. Thus, the beginning of the cold period was considered here - the Pokrov (1/14 October). On the Feast of the Trinity, celebrated seven weeks after Easter, the houses were decorated with greenery, they put young trees in front of the entrance. The Orthodox Slavs of the Balkan Peninsula performed similar rituals as well as Catholics on May 1 (14) (in Orthodoxy - St. Eremey's Day). In general, the calendar ritual of the Eastern Slavs - Ukrainians and Byelorussians - is characterized by great similarity with the Russian.

The traditional calendar ritual of the Bosnians and Albanians, despite belonging to Islam, was not fundamentally different from the ritual of neighboring Christian peoples. This was due to the common origin and long residence in similar conditions.

Day of St. Dmitry corresponded to the Day of Kasym (also a winter festival), on October 26, and Day of St. George - Khyzyr Day (April 23). Muslim Albanians celebrated Christmas, which merged in folk culture with the holiday of the middle of winter, timed to the Winter Solstice Day (the Day of the First Snow). In particular, they knew the rite of kindling a Christmas log. New Year of Christians corresponded to the holiday of spring Nauruz (March 22). On this day the Albanians committed actions aimed at expelling the serpents who personalized the evil forces: they went around fields and gardens and created noise, ringing bells and hitting sticks with sticks. Their neighbors, Orthodox Balkan Peninsula, performed a similar ceremony in the Annunciation (March 25/April 7). A special holiday of Albanians was the day of mid-summer, celebrated at the end of July. Residents of the villages rose to the tops of the mountains, where they kindled the bonfires that burned throughout the night.

Family and social structures. For the people of foreign Europe in the modern era were characterized by small (nuclear) families. The Catholic and Protestant peoples were dominated by the tradition of majorat, in which the farm was inherited by the eldest son. The remaining sons did not receive real estate and went to work for hire. The tradition of majorat prevented the fragmentation of farms, which was actual in conditions of high population density and limited land resources.

On the periphery of the region - in Byelorussia, Ukraine, Eastern Finland, large families met. Such peoples of the Balkan peninsula as Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians, back in the XIX century. there was a special kind of big family - an old woman who consisted of a father with married sons (father's girlfriend) or from several brothers with their families (brotherly girlfriend). Zadruga possessed collective ownership of movable and immovable property. The title of the chapter (it was held by a man) could be elected, or inherited. The head did not have absolute authority: decisions were made collectively. Zadrugi united from 10-12 to 50 people. and more. In the second half of the XIX century. the section of the villages began.

Albanians in the mountainous part of Albania before the beginning of the 20th century. there were fissures - tribal unions, ruled by the elder (he held a post by inheritance) and the descent of men. Fis owned land that was divided into family plots. According to the historical tradition, 12 phis are considered to be the oldest ("initial", "big" fissues), the rest are those that arose later. In one fys there could be faces of different confessions.

For a long time, the clan structure was preserved by mountain Scots and Irishmen. The clans were the basis of the military organization of these peoples. The disappearance of the clans was due to economic reasons and was fixed by the introduction of relevant laws: in Ireland, the clans were abolished by the British in 1605 after the suppression of the uprising of the local inhabitants, in mountainous Scotland in the 18th century, after the consolidation of the power of the English monarchy. However, among Scots, the notion of the symbolic belonging of a person to the clan remains to this day.

Ritual of the life cycle. In the traditional culture of acquaintance of young people took place on gatherings, fairs, festivities. Wedding rituals usually included matchmaking, which could consist of several stages. The Catholic and Protestant peoples had a tradition of concluding a marriage agreement on a dowry, the predecessor of modern marriage contracts.

In folk cultures long survived remnants of ancient beliefs. For example, in the German tradition on the eve of the wedding in the house of the bride, or separately from the bride and groom, they arranged a polteraband (literally - an evening of noise, a roar). A lot of guests gathered at the festival, who toasted and, after drinking, beat the dishes (specially for this case in the house they kept cracked cups). It was believed that the noise was driven away from young evil spirits, and a large number of shards promised great happiness to the new family. Also, in order to deceive the evil spirits in Spain, there were traditions of kidnapping the bride and groom on the wedding night or in every possible way to hinder its conduct (ants were used to marry, salt was poured, they hid under the bed, and during the night the guests constantly went into the room). >

Traditional wedding celebrations could last several days. In a number of countries (Denmark, Scotland) Protestant churches and secular authorities in the 16th-19th centuries. tried to regulate the wedding so that the population did not spend a lot of money on it: restrictions were imposed on the number of guests served to the table of dishes, the length of the wedding.

Protestants view the wedding as a simple ritual, in contrast to Catholicism and Orthodoxy, which consider the wedding a church ordinance. For Protestant peoples, for example, Norwegians could start a joint life after the engagement. The Scots met "irregular marriage" or "marriage by handshake", consisting in a verbal statement of the couple in witnesses that they are becoming husband and wife. Such a marriage was not approved by the Presbyterian (Calvinist) church, but from the point of view of popular beliefs was considered valid.

The birth of the child was also accompanied by magical activities. In the Italian tradition, the woman in childbirth was put on the adobe floor by the hearth so that home spirits living under the hearth could help her. Remnants of the ritual of the Kuwad are marked - imitating the husband labor. For example, in Spain in the region of Leon, the husband climbed into the basket and crouched squat like a chicken. There were widespread beliefs about the connection between the birthday of the child and his future destiny. Family meals were arranged about the child's baptism, the appearance of the first tooth, the first haircut and nails. In the economically developed regions of Abroad, archaic elements of maternity rituals disappeared rather early in connection with the spread of rational medicine and the emergence of professional midwives (in England - from the XVI century, in Scandinavia - from the XVIII century).

Christians necessarily baptized a child. For Muslims, the circumcision rite was compulsory. The Bosnians committed it during the first ten years of the boy's life (usually three, five or seven years), Albanians - from 7 to 12 years. The ceremony of circumcision was followed by a subsequent feast.

In funeral rites of some Catholic and Orthodox people, funeral lamentations were preserved, which were performed by women. Sometimes, as, for example, in the Basques, these were professional mourners who received payment for their art. Only Albanians performed male laments, which were considered appropriate at the funeral of respected men. In some cases, there were ideas about special ways of delivering the deceased to the cemetery: the Poles and Slovaks had to thrice thrice with a coffin about the threshold, which symbolized the farewell of the deceased with the house; The Norwegians practiced the transportation at any time of the year of the coffin with the body of the deceased in the cemetery on a sleigh - a vehicle of the pre-forest era. European traditions knew the tradition of memorial meals, which in the most developed form was preserved among Orthodox peoples who arranged such meals on the day of the funeral, on the ninth, fortieth days after the death.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)