The history of the Shrovetide doll. Popular solutions on how to make a stuffed animal for Shrovetide. Helpful hints.
A carnival effigy is an obligatory attribute of a holiday dedicated to meeting spring and saying goodbye to winter. According to tradition, the celebration takes place during the week. At this time, round dances are held, pancakes are baked and, of course, a scarecrow is burned on Shrovetide as a symbol of the outgoing cold weather.
The history of the carnival doll
It is difficult to find a person who has not heard about the Maslenitsa holiday. This is a pagan holiday that came from ancient times. It has taken root in Christian culture: it is celebrated along with church dates.
In ancient times, Maslenitsa meant the symbol of the solstice or equinox, i.e. transition to spring. But it is not clear why there is a scarecrow for Maslenitsa. It turns out that the doll denoted the image of Morena - the patroness of death and cold.
To drive away winter, pancakes were baked as a symbol of the spring sun. Pancakes were treated to relatives, friends, everyone who came to the house. Folk festivities with treats and fist fights were held.
At the end of the holiday, a Maslenitsa doll was burned. It was made from straw, old clothes, wood. The doll was given the image of a person. On Sunday, Maslenitsa was burned, after which the festivities ended. It was believed that from this moment spring begins on earth.
It is curious that the ancient Slavs did not one Maslenitsa, but two. The second was called Daughter. She did not look like a scarecrow to be burned. It was a smart doll, bright. She was kept in the house until next spring.
They tried to make the first Maslenitsa repulsive, unattractive, because the face of winter lurked in its image. But the holiday was joyful, and the scarecrow took on a funny look. They added a smile and eyes to him. The head often symbolized the sun and was decorated with the likeness of rays.
Until the time when the scarecrow was set on fire, everyone could take out evil on it: beat, give cuffs. People imagined an enemy in a doll and took out their grievances on him. But they entered the new spring with a light heart. Evil and resentment burned out along with the doll.
There was a tradition to throw unnecessary things and clothes into the fire for Shrovetide. This is how the Slavs got rid of negative energy. In many countries, this tradition has been preserved for the New Year.
How to make a stuffed carnival with your own hands?
Knowing why a scarecrow is burned on Shrovetide, you can make a doll yourself, conduct a ceremony to get rid of evil and resentment.
Scarecrow of Shrovetide from straw
Shrovetide holiday is a kind of New Year, only without a Christmas tree. This is the beginning of spring, when the ancient Slavs began to work on the field. But, unlike Christmas trees for the New Year, you will not find Maslenitsa dolls in the bazaar. They will have to be made by hand.
We will start making a Maslenitsa stuffed animal with the simplest scheme: we will make it out of straw. The step-by-step process looks like this:
- Prepare the base. Take 2 pieces of wood. One of them is longer and longer, the second is shorter. Use nails to secure the cross-shaped bars: short perpendicular to long.
- Shape the torso. Tie bunches of straw around the base. Fluff the straw down to make it look like a skirt.
- Fluff the straw on the sides as well: it should resemble hands.
- Make a head out of a linen bag. Stuff it with straw and attach to the top of the base.
- For the doll's clothes, you will need 2 types of fabric - white and colored. From white we form a shirt, tying it in the upper half of the doll. We make a skirt from a colored one, gathering it around the waist.
- Draw the stuffed eyes, mouth, nose if desired. This step is optional, but the doll looks more realistic.
- Braid your braids. Cut strips of yellow or brown thin fabric and attach them to the head. Braid in braids. If you don't want to make braids, tie a scarf around the doll's head.
Important! The straw scarecrow quickly catches fire. Burn it outdoors, there should be enough space around the stuffed animal. Take care of the safety of others so that they do not come close to the doll, especially children. Provide water or fire extinguishers in case fire spreads.
If you do not plan to burn a scarecrow for a holiday, make a protective doll. It can be presented as a gift to relatives or put in a prominent place at home for decoration. But the ancient Slavs not only decorated the dwelling, but also gave the doll a sacred meaning. It is designed to preserve home comfort, attract success and luck, and protect from the evil eye.
They started making the doll a few days before the holiday. Only women were engaged in this: it was believed that men could not be trusted with this occupation. Let's try to make a carnival effigy with our own hands.
Make sure that there are no artificial rags among the fabrics chosen for making the doll. Give preference to only natural ones.
Only bright colors were used to make the doll. Gray and dull were considered bad omens.
The face of the guard doll was not painted. There was a sign: if the face turns out to be like one of the residents of the house, misfortune is possible. The ancient Slavs believed that evil spirits could possess dolls.
Another rule is that you cannot use a needle and thread. The scraps of fabric were torn by hands, the threads were pulled out of them and the scarecrow was tied up. Modern needlewomen deviate from this rule to make the product look beautiful, but you can follow the ancient Slavic customs.
In addition to scraps of fabric, to make a protective doll you will need:
- a deck of wood with a height of 12 cm;
- spear 20 cm long;
- thick white and yellow threads;
- filler for dolls (cotton wool, fabric, pieces of foam rubber);
- double-sided piece of diaper;
How to make a protective doll:
- Attach the slingshot to the deck and tie it with threads.
- Make a head for the doll. To do this, add filler to a piece of fabric, tie and attach to the top of the deck.
- Wrap the doll's body with the second piece of white linen.
- Prepare colored hand scraps. Tie the bottom of the rolled flap to the top of the stick and lower the fabric down.
- Make the other hand in the same way.
- Wrap the base with the same piece of fabric. Tie some threads to make a dress.
- Take the fabric for the apron and skirt. Fasten the skirt with a thread at the "waist", wrap the fabric around the doll and lower it down.
- Fasten the apron under the thread at the “waist” in front.
- Tie with thick yellow thread at the waist.
- Tie a scarf over your head. Decorate the doll with beads and a woolen quilted jacket if desired.
- Cut a circle out of the cardboard. Glue images of the sun or other solar symbols drawn on paper on both sides of it.
If you want to give the ritual of making a doll a sacred meaning, you need to know how to make a stuffed animal for Shrovetide with your own hands so that it brings good luck. The doll should be made with good thoughts. For this reason, it is undesirable to purchase amulets on the market: you do not know with what thoughts they were made.
To clear the doll of negativity, light a candle at midnight. The ceremony is performed on the waning moon. Place the scarecrow on the table, circle it around it several times with a candle. If you feel anxious, continue the ceremony until you get rid of this feeling.
Important! Nowadays, these rules for making amulets are often ignored. But it is they who give things a sacred meaning.
Paper scarecrow for children
In modern schools and kindergartens, Maslenitsa has become a welcome holiday. It is celebrated on a grand scale: children prepare numbers, sometimes they invite artists, prepare costumes, bake pancakes. Not without small stuffed animals that children make on their own.
For crafts, you only need colored paper of different shades. The doll making pattern may vary.
The basic principles by which it is easy to make an adorable doll for kindergarten:
- Cut out thick strips from light-colored paper and fold them in an accordion.
- Fold another accordion out of a paper strip of a contrasting shade.
- Glue the blanks at the top so that the light ones are on the sides.
- Cut out a triangle (scarf) and a quadrangle (apron) from blue paper.
- Glue them together, attach corrugated strips in the shape of a skirt from below.
- Cut out a circle out of white paper, draw the girl's face on it.
- Glue on the triangle so that the pieces of the triangle are visible on the sides of the circle.
- Under the "face" of the doll, glue the blue pieces of paper, like the ends of a handkerchief, glue the pockets on the apron.
Stick the charming craft on the base: you get an applique. If the child is too small and cannot make an applique, use a scarecrow drawing for Shrovetide. Draw a circle on a piece of paper, draw a triangle under it, add arms on the sides. Decorate the picture with the sun, spring symbols. Let the kid paint the picture on his own and take it to kindergarten.
Craft from a broom
If you do not know how to make a stuffed animal for Shrovetide, where to get straw, use an old broom. Fragments are also suitable: they are connected with threads or scraps of fabric.
How to make a craft:
- Tie a bar from a stick to the handle of the broom.
- Wind up the white fabric to make it look like a shirt. Try to hide the stick and broom.
- Decorate the lower part with a bright fabric, forming a skirt. Secure the fabric with a thread or rope, gather it in folds.
- Tie cardboard instead of a face and draw a mouth, nose, eyes on it. A fabric-filled pouch tied to a broom with threads will also work.
- Tie a scarf around your head, make a braid from the remnants of a broom or strips of fabric.
This Shrovetide is perfect for a home holiday. It can be brought to school or kindergarten for a themed party.
Scarecrow from the newspaper
For home burning of a symbolic scarecrow, a doll made of newspaper or tissue paper is also suitable. It is cut into strips and folded into a bun. You won't be able to make a large doll like that, but a small home doll will do just fine. Cut the newspaper into strips to the desired length. Roll them into bunches and form them into the body, arms and head of the doll. Wrap the piece with a piece of fabric and tie it with threads. The doll is ready. Of course, you cannot call it a work of art, but it is suitable for symbolic burning.
Cloth stuffed animal
One of the most popular options is a stuffed animal made of fabric and thread. Instead of a straw or wooden base, a cloth rolled into a tight roll is taken. Choose a thick fabric that will allow the garment to hold its shape.
Wrap the workpiece on top with a light canvas. Put on a colored cloth on top and bandage around the head and chest. Make the doll's arms out of tightly folded pieces of colored canvas. Tie them with threads on the sides to the base. Put a scarf over your head.
Such a doll can be used both as a souvenir for a gift and for burning at the end of the holiday. You will have to choose a large flap so that the scarecrow looks impressive, and put it on a stick.
How to make an effigy of Maslenitsa - watch the video:
There are many variants of the Shrovetide effigy. They are designed for different situations: choose the one you like, show your imagination and you will surprise your guests. Remember: Shrovetide, although a symbol of winter, but its stuffed animal should be funny, it is a joyful holiday of spring.