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Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

The Noriki celebrate Sergei and Stepanida, the patrons of marriage and smithing on the first day of Gruden'. All couples pray to the saints for domestic harmony. Young unmarried people take over household management for the day, while propsective mates, who are invited for the day's festivities, contribute by bringing stolen fowl from their neighbor's household (this sort of theft is not stigmatized on this day). It serves as the base for a broth which is eaten by all who are present. This meal initiates a fast that concludes upon the Redeemer's Birthday.   Because Stepanida and Sergii are also patrons of blacksmiths, this day also constitutes their celebration, and for hardcore Old Faith adherents, a commemoration of the demiurge Svarog. On Svarozhki (as it is still called sometimes), smiths take on new apprentices, who are subjected to ancient mystical initiation rituals. Artisans begin various wintertime projects, and Svarog is honored for welding together rivers with frost, and initiating the period of speedy travel by sled.   Stepanidki was the festival that originally brought Chonkorchuk, Plamen, and Rodion Raskol'nikov together, as potential suitors of Katarina Borisovna. It constituted the kick-off of the Yaga's Yokels campaign.


1 Gruden', annually

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