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Key words
calendar holidays, the cemetery as a festive locus, funeral and obit customs, social communications, transformation of traditions
About the Author
E-mail: chesnokova.eg33@gmail.com Tel.: + 7 (905) 612-23-54
32а, Leninskiy av., Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
Post-graduate student, N. N. Miklukho-Maklay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences

This research has been fi nancially supported by the grant of the Russian State Fund for Humanities / Russian Foundation for Basic Research project No. 15–01–00379а “Regional and cultural specifi cs of cultural and linguistic processes (exemplifi ed in the material of ethnographic and ethno-linguistic fi eld research in Kostroma territory in the 20th —  the 21st centuries”.



The article deals with obit customs, timed to calendar holidays, which are related to the space of the cemetery. The author reviews contemporary forms of these customs, which include both traditional elements and innovations due to the ongoing changes in the sphere of culture, economy and public life.

The main attention is paid to the most revealing periods of spring rituals, connected with the Christian holidays —  Easter and the Trinity. The article is based on the materials of fi eld research conducted by the author in Kostroma and Vladimir regions in 2016–2017. The article shows that the relation of the main commemoration either to Easter or to Trinity period corresponds basically to certain zones. During the period, a specifi c day is allocated to celebration of key memorial rituals in the cemetery space. Memorial days, timed to calendar church holidays, have both a family-related and a social character. The general structure of the calendar memorial days includes the preparatory stage, the meeting of relatives in the cemetery, the detour of cemeteries and the bypass of graves, commemoration at the grave and the continuation of the holiday at home. The preservation and even the growth of the signifi cance of memorial days are associated with the predominance of the family-related nature of obit customs. The collective nature of commemoration at the cemetery helps to renew and restore in this space the social bonds weakened by distance and breaking family traditions, serves to actualize lost communications between people.


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