Rus Articles Journal

Why New year in Poland is designated Sylvester?

In the early nineties happened to live few years in Poland. Acquaintance to the Polish holidays began for me with Christmas and a meeting of New year. Poles got used to name cheerful New Year`s action Sylvester. The average citizen of the successor of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth concerning such name will tell nothing especially intelligible. Well, there was such Saint, here in his honor and celebrate.

Really, was. But not just sacred, and, so to speak, Saint nomenclature. The Pope Sylvester the First lived at the time of the emperor Konstantin and was on the leading post long enough, from 314 to 335 year. For what it was ranked as Saints, I do not know. But the father exactly on the eve of new 336, on December 31 died. Day of his death is esteemed as day of Saint Sylvester.

You do not hurry, the fairy tale still ahead. At that time New year was celebrated with might and main. Holiday in principle pagan, Romans began to celebrate it long before adoption of Christianity. The powerful church could not cope with national traditions. Perhaps, therefore decided to celebrate not birthday of the Saint that, in my opinion, it is somehow more logical, and day in which the father passed away.

Full basis to celebrate in my opinion, have day of death unless Jews against whose religion the father Sylvester the First actively fought and insisted on a full separation of Christianity from Judaic roots.

Tell that somehow the father started competition in power of belief with Jews in the face of the emperor. Yes not just organized, but overcame with a Christian prayer charms there is nobody the most famous Jewish sorcerer knowing an original name of God. A story about drowning in Tiber of hundreds of Roman Jews - too, allegedly, his hands business.

But we will return to the coming holiday. Long time, more than six centuries, New year and day of Saint Sylvester existed side by side, but everyone in itself. We together, but we separately - as one our fellow traveler answered a question of the Polish customs officer, with a sad look examining a heap of the boxes, parcels, bags and suitcases which hammered a four-seater compartment to the ceiling. The church wished eradication of pagan traditions, and the capricious people somehow not really sought to break the settled habits.

But here came nearer new 1000 - y year. You remember how all of us cautiously waited for approach of 2000 - go? Computers all will become, planes will fall, and trains will fly up too to fall near rails. What only to us was not prophesied by the cunning - schemers, and we, competent and clever, obediently reeled up spaghetti on the acting organs of hearing.

And one thousand years ago everything was even more serious. All Catholic world captured the psychosis connected with expectation of a doomsday. In 1000 - the m had to creep out to year of the sea a terrible antiquated dragon the Leviathan who desired, probably, for strong hunger to gobble up all earth.

Naturally who wants to be eaten together with neighbors and habitat. To prayers there was no end. And here - that Saint Sylvester was useful as it is impossible by the way. Who else will intercede how the Saint who is remembered in the last day before a doomsday? The Saint cannot but help people. A snake he won invisible fight, did not give people in offense. Still we live and we breed.

Since then New year is also designated Sylvester. To be fair I will note that not only in Poland, but also in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and even in Israel. Today Sylvester peacefully gets on with other Saint, Santa Claus - Saint Nikolay. They do by general efforts a holiday more large-scale, more cheerful and more colourful every year. Happy New year!]