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Traditions of Riding in Russia

Riding in Russia

It seems that riding is just for fun, but originally it had a deep meaning associated with the land.

Tobogganing

Tobogganing was originally created to stimulate the harvest and fertility. This is one of the most ancient rituals by which touching the land could make it bear crops.

Gradually, the original meaning of tobogganing was lost as people started riding down the hills also in the winter, that is, when snow prevented the direct contact with the ground.

Just recently, to get good harvest girls slid off the hills.

The same meaning was given to riding through the village: first around your own village, then – the neighboring villages.

People rode in carts and sleds (in winter) pulled by horses.

It is interesting that today, many Russians feel like “riding”, coming up for that with any conceivable excuses.

Riding the “Triad” 

Subsequently, riding horse carts pulled by three horses, which was named directly – the “triad” – got spread throughout Russia.

Riding horse triads took place during the holidays, and even became a symbol of a special celebration. Horses’ manes were decorated with flowers and ribbons, the carts were layered with rugs, riders wore their special outfits.

Usually neighbors gathered horses from a few households.

Outside holidays, riding horse triads became a symbol of chic.

Riding to Meet New People 

Often tobogganing took place in the evening. During that time, guys could ride with the girls in the same sled.

In some places, a guy during a ride could or was obliged to kiss a girl.

It was believed that if a guy rode with a girl more than three times, it was a sign of serious intentions.

Guys often put together horse triads to meet girls. Riding past a girl he liked, the guy invited her to ride along. This way guys and girls could show their sympathy and get acquainted.

Riding has gradually transformed from the ritual into a fun game and flirting.

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To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

This article contains materials by V. Sokolova.

фото-фотобанк Лори

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