Even song and dance art

The Evens were well aware of the days of solstices and equinoxes. The holidays celebrated by Evens, Yakuts and other peoples on the summer solstice bear traces of the ancient cult of the sun. The Evens traditionally hold a national holiday ("hebdjek", "hebdienek" or "evinek") - celebrating the New Year on the summer solstice (June 22, 23, 24). Summer month - Dilgos Ilaani - June, literally means the month of sun, water and new greenery, the month of awakening and renewal of nature. From this month the ancient New Year of the Evens began. The emergence of the Heedye round dance and the Hebdyek and Evinek national holidays is directly linked to the rite of meeting the sun and the New Year of the Evens: the ancient circular Heedye dance begins and follows the movement of the sun [Alekseev, 1993: 10].

The celebration held a special place in the life of the Evens. After a long harsh winter period, during the three longest days of the year, the Evens, having gathered from different localities, spent time in fun: they sang, danced round dance.

Mutual exchanges, marriage agreements were carried out at such gatherings,, youth entertainment, sports competitions were organized. The customs and ceremonies of the people, dedicated to the New Year, carried a huge cultural and creative meaning. They included elements of song and dance art, theatrical performances of fairy tales, ancestral traditions and legends. Various ancestral songs, songs-improvisations, songs-stories were performed at the festival.

Одним из главных моментов встречи являлось коллективное исполнение кругового танца «hээдьэ» – «Дьэhэрийэ», который имеет те или иные варианты у разных локальных групп эвенов. Все эвенские хороводные танцы, различные песни являлись школой для молодежи, с помощью них они получали знания, учились опыту старшего поколения и мудрости жизни. Песни и круговые танцы имели слова заклинания (благопожелания). Например, в «Дьэhэрийэ» есть такие слова [Алексеев, 1993,с.58]:

I conjure! Let songs and joy spread
Over my taiga, over the land of reindeer people!
Always believe that such a day will come
When there are no sadness and tears
When all the Even people gather in "heedye"!