Sun rises over Taimyr
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Sun rises over Taimyr

January 19, 2021

On the embankment of Dudinka square, artists of Heiro - the Taimyr folk song and dance ensemble of the peoples of the North - held the traditional ceremony of meeting the sun.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Who does not know what the polar night is, he will not understand the joy of the northern peoples about the newly acquired star. The word ‘heiro’ is not translated as ‘sun’ at all, it is just exclamation in which a lot of positive emotions are embedded, for which there is a weighty reason.

The customs associated with the appearance of the sun on the horizon for all five ethnic groups of the Taimyr peninsula – Dolgans, Nganasans, Nenets, Enets and Evenks – are called differently, but the essence is the same. These are big holidays, when all representatives of the people come together to share a good mood, show off with fabulous hand-made clothes made of reindeer skins, remember national games, marry their children and dance. The dance based on movement in the direction of the sun, that is, in a circle to the left, holding hands is common to all northern peoples.

The Heiro artists lit a ritual fire in the square, performed a traditional dance around the fire and turned to the sun, urging it to shine brighter and more often. The ensemble was born more than half a century ago. Since Soviet times, in the conditions of urban life, the performance of traditional rituals has been ranked as cultural mass work with the best goals – to preserve the elements of the spiritual culture of the indigenous peoples. A vocal group and a dance club, organized in 1968, became the basis for the Taimyr folk song and dance ensemble Heiro. Its first tours took place in the villages and nomad camps of Taimyr, where the artists traveled by reindeer, helicopters and water, and won the sympathy of their fellow countrymen.

The ‘people’s’ status means that not professional artists go out to the public, but just active and creative residents of Dudinka, representatives of various professions, who understand the importance of preserving the traditions of their peoples. The repertoire of the collective includes several dozen songs and choreographic performances reflecting the culture and life of the Dolgans, Nenets, Nganasans, Enets and Evenks. For this reason, the ensemble received another, unofficial, status of Taimyr’s calling card.

The timing at the 69th parallel is somewhat different than that of the inhabitants of more southern latitudes, and is connected precisely with the behavior of the heavenly body. The polar night on Taimyr began on November 30. The period of day and night change in the year 2021 will finish at the end of March. Twilight and white nights at the latitude of Dudinka will take place from March 27 to May 19, and from May 20 the polar day will come, which will last more than two months. The time will come for the inhabitants of the peninsula when it will be possible to stock up on the energy of the sun for the entire long dark winter.

Text: Tatyana Rychkova, Photo: Press Service of the Taimyr Municipal District

January 19, 2021

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