На праздник. Фото В. Ануфриева

Since the dawn of time, Komi izhemtsi have been “walking in the meadows” on one of the white July’s nights. The holiday was called precisely: Lud, i.e. “meadow” in Komi. Lud unites the Izhma people living in different parts of Russia. In the mid 1930’s this tradition discontinued. Only in 1997 the holiday was resumed. Now it is held on the last Sunday of June or first Sunday of July, before the beginning of the haymaking time. The island opposite the village of Izhma used to be the place of the festival that lasted from evening till sunrise. At present the festival site is more available: It is a meadow near the bridge.


Фото М. П. Мельничука

In the beginning of the 20th century the holiday started with the gathering of young horsemen who ran a herd of horses across the island, thus trampling down a site for the holiday. Later this tradition transformed into horse races on a water- meadow. A festive procession used to go to the site of Lud from every village. Now people from remote villages come there by cars. At present the holiday starts from the miles-long Izhma procession or, to be more exact, a fashion parade for which women put on old-fashioned inheritable demised brocade sarafans. At 10 p.m. kin and family fires are set on the newly-mown part of the festive meadow. By this time all Izhma villages and rural areas erect mini-houses which represent the features of the local way of life.


Танцевальный цикл Ворота. Фото Е. А. Хозяиновой

The holiday Lud includes round dances and related games. After the general round dance “the beauty contest” starts. Well-dressed girls- brides- are taken to a homemade stage where they present their merits and talents, demonstrate their embroidery and pies. The sports part of the festivity includes jumps over sledges, lasso tossing, and weight casting.
The holiday is held in the Komi language that highlights the ethnic flavor of the Komi Republic. The principal feature of Lus is absence of spectators in it, and everyone becomes a participant of the ceremony.