Yara Arts Group will present a new theatre piece: Winter Light featuring the Koliadnyky, an ensemble of winter song singers from Kryvorivnia (a Ukrainian village in the Hutsul region of the Carpathian Mountains) and Yara artists. The event will feature traditional winter songs from the Koliada rituals that celebrate the winter solstice and scenes from contemporary Ukraine.
Koliada is a winter ritual that now coincides with Christmas, but is much older in origin and symbolism. The oldest songs are preserved in villages high in the Carpathian Mountains, where the Koliada is considered to be the most important event of the year. Some people believe that Spring and the harvest will not come to the village unless the songs are sung in every household. The songs are incantations that assume the magical power of words: “what is said, will be so.”