Honey Feast Day in Pyrohiv Museum
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate three kinds of Saviour holiday. Makoviy or the Honey Saviour is on August 14th, the Apple one is on August 19th, and the Bread Saviour on the 29th
Honey-based treats, embroidered shirts, ethnic jewellery, and clay dishes are the first things to greet the visitors, as they enter the open-air museum of folk architecture in Pyrohiv just outside Kyiv. The honey theme develops further as one encounters a myriad of flavours of honey and even some honey-flavoured soap. Mykola is a beekeeper from the town of Bila Tserkva near Kyiv. He’s adamant that everyone should eat a bit of honey every day.
“This is your health. If Ukrainians eat honey our nation will be healthy. It’s full of vitamins and microelements. This is a natural product that is so important for your immune system. And there are carbohydrates necessary for your brain. Take this honeycomb, for example, this is the freshest honey,” he said.
There is more to this fair than honey. Visitors can also engage in activities traditional for the Honey Saviour holiday. Adults and children decorate a wooden cross with flowers.
“This tradition is many centuries old and is alive to this day. Crosses like this were installed at the opposite ends of the village as a powerful safeguard from the powers of evil. Everyone knows about Halloween. But few know that ages ago on top of a cross a Ukrainians also used to put pumpkin with eyes and a mouth cut out in it. And at night they would light a candle inside of it,” press officer of the museum Yevheniya said.
Once ready, the decorated cross becomes a popular object for photos. Nearby, everyone willing can use their imagination and put together their own traditional bouquet from a big selection of flowers on offer.
Makoviy was believed to provide family health and good fortune for the whole year ahead.
“The poppy bulb has a small number of seeds. And the seed is a symbol of eternal life. Poppies were used for medicinal purposes and as a talisman to protect from evil. It was complemented by cornflowers and oregano, which is a women’s herb, by ruta and mint — for male health. On top of that Ukrainians used to add many flowers to this bouquet,” museum researcher Oksana Hordiyets said.
Borys went to the event with his parents and siblings.
“We came to celebrate the Honey Saviour. We love honey a lot and respect our traditions. I expect there to be more entertainment and more visitors next year,” he said.
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate three kinds of Saviour holiday. Makoviy or the Honey Saviour is on August 14th, the Apple one is on August 19th, and the Bread Saviour on the 29th.