If you’re looking for an alternative to Christmas this festive holiday is the real deal. It is an ancient celebration involving Veles, dead spirits and the cyclical nature of time. Well, what we can be sure about is that there’s a solstice celebration. In which adolescents travel door-to-door greeting their neighbours and singing, receiving candy and small change. Which sounds a bit like Hallowe’en to us, complete with the connotations of dead spirits returning to the mortal world.
Which sound somewhat akin to Christian traditions of carol singing, though the Church has always been one for songs, so this time it might not necessarily be a case of “borrowing” on their part. Perhaps not entirely surprising though, considering how blurred many ancient pagan traditions have become over the years.
Many cultures attributed the winter solstice to being linked to rebirth and the new year (death and rebirth of the sun, particularly in places so far north as for it to be a polar night). Obviously this festival was all fine and wonderful and the perfect vehicle for Christianity to hijack.
There is an imprenetrable layer of obscurity covering the origins of the festival but it appears to be named after Koliada, the barely-attested goddess (or occasionally god) of time. She may just be a personification of Winter. We have given her a page to account for herself and perhaps after enough festive noggins inspiration will strike.
Koleda Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Kalada, Kaledos, Koliada, Kolyada, Коляда
Gender: Sorry, we don't know
Type: legendary event
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Winter
Area of expertise: Winter
Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1927
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Article last revised on May 25, 2019 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.