Bread in the Festive and Ceremonial Food of Russians of the Arkhangelsk North in the Early 20th Century

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Key words
bread, celebration, rite, Orthodoxy, local specificity
Alexandra V. Frolova
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 938-06-00
32a, Leninskii av., Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
PhD in History, Senior Researcher, Department of Ethnology of the Russian People, N.N. MiklukhoMaklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Date of publication

This work was carried out under the auspices of research plan No. 0177– 2020–001 “Peoples of Russia in the Modern World. Ethno-Cultural and Ethno-Demographic Development” / “Russia of the 20th — 21st Centuries. Preservation and Development of Traditions.”


This article considers the traditions of bread consumption in the festive and ritual food of the northern Russian population based on archival, journalistic and field materials collected by the author in villages of the Archangel North in 1992–2011. Like all Russian traditional cuisine, that of northern Russia reflects the character of the national economy, based on grain. The leading place in it was occupied by bread, flour and cereal dishes with many variations. The article considers the role of bread in the main celebration of the peasant family — the wedding rite. The wedding gathering is a complex, significant phenomenon of folk culture, which has reflected different sides of peasant life and its world view. Bread and other flour products were placed on tables in a special way and became attributes of this occasion. Thus the kovrigi (large round loaves) symbolized the groom and bride and contributed to their connection by offering a visual image of it. Bread is also used in the ritual feeding of livestock on holidays and in the Yegorievskaya rite. The study indicates that such traditions are quite stable and manifest local particularities.


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For citation

Frolova A. V. Bread in the Festive and Ceremonial Food of Russians of the Arkhangelsk North in the Early 20th Century. Traditional culture. 2020. Vol. 21. No. 4. Pp. 149–157. In Russian.