On 8h October 2017, from 1 PM to 3 PM, in the Museum of Wooden Architecture "Vitoslavitsy" will be held the festival Kapustski in Vitoslavitsy. The festival is built around the traditional rituals connected with the chopping and pickling of cabbage.
Visitors will learn how a pomoch (helping) takes place in a village, take part in the chopping of white cabbage and other foods, see the ancient way of pickling cabbage, play Russian folk games and take part in traditional dances.
Guests can enjoy homemade traditional dishes such as cabbage schi and pies, feed animals with cabbage leaves, ride a horse, create their own souvenirs in workshops and buy sauerkraut.
People “found under a cabbage leaf”, that is whose birthday is on the 11th of October, as well as visitors with a “cabbagish” surname enter free (providing ID).
During the second half of 19th century and the first half of 20th century, there was a widespread tradition to gather and chop cabbage for pickling it during the so-called pomoch or toloka.
Kapustki lasted from September 27th (fest of the Elevation of the Cross) to October 14th (fest of the Intercession of Christ).
It was namely in these days that the season of pomoch began. There were gathering for young people, often organized by those families which had a daughter of marriageable age. During these “parties” youngsters had the opportunity to get to know new people and eventually receive a marriage proposal. Girls wore their nicest clothes and hoped to make an impression of hard-working, diligent and worthy brides. Though being uninvited the boys went to the party anyway and entertained the girls with jokes, rhymes and playing the harmonica. As a rule, the invited girls and women brought to the party their own cabbage shredders. Cabbage was chopped in a large tub or directly in a vat.
The pickling process was supervised by the house mistress, as each one of them had their own secrets to the preparation. Sometimes a cabbage was pickled with cucumbers, small pumpkin slices and carrots. Anise and dill were often used. To make the cabbage pickle well, rye flour was added, while to sweeten it, they added the steamed stump brine or beet juice.
When the work was done, participants to the pomoch circled in the izba and sat, then the host and hostess thanked all the “assistants” for helping and treated them with tea, rolls and cabbage pies and beer, specially brewed for the occasion. The feast was accompanied with dances, games and singing, and often lasted till the morning after.
Free entry for visitors with a “horsish” surname!