Norway is a country where the national costume is very appreciated and even loved. It is not gathering dust in wardrobes, but “walks”proudly through the streets of the country. It is good to know that Ukrainian national costume is also becoming popular and loved by everyone. As we have popular Ukrainian folk costume, so popular is byunad in Norway. For what Norwegians pay 30,000 krones, what the “police of costume” is occupying with, what is festdrakt and why to visit Norway on the 17th of May. About all this and much more, read the blog FOBERINI.
As our woman’s Ukrainian national costume consists of a shirt, a plakhta, a kushak and an apron, the Norway national costume has several components as well. Let’s find out at first that the Norwegians designate national costume with a special word – byunad. Byunad is decorated by hand with a stitching, and even despite the high price of it (which is about 30 thousand euros = $ 1,500), this suit is present in a wardrobe of 80% of Norway women. As in Ukraine, each area in Norway is commonly called “folk” and has its national costume. Totally there are about 200 kinds of byunad.
Historians still discuss the issue whether byunad is a national suit or a festive dress in traditional style. There is no exact answer, but thanks to this debate in Norway another meaning has appeared: festdrakt – this word is to mark the festive attire in traditional style. Traditional female byunad includes a blouse decorated with hand embroidery, a vest, a jacket and a skirt. The image is also complemented by stockings (sometimes they can be with embroidery on it), shawl and mittens.” Why mittens” can you ask? Because the average temperature in January is -17⁰ С, and the average temperature in July +7⁰ С. You cannot go without mittens in this country. As woman accessoiries Norway use silver brooches and scarves. Man costume includes trousers below the knee, linen shirt, tight vest top and jacket. In the cold climate men also prefer wool knee socks. Norwegian male costume is not as densely decorated with embroidery, as female, but it often can be made in various bright colors: red, yellow and others. Byunad is important in life of every Norwegian. At the wedding girls are usually wearing traditional costumes completed with their original wedding “crown”. And for baptism and confirmation (personal initiation to the church) you cannot do without byunad. On the 17th of May, the day of independence of Norway colours of national costumes are the most vivid. At this time national flags are hung around, demonstrators in the streets are wearing byunads. Their number and brightness makes an unforgettable impression on any tourist. A bit of history: the interest to traditional costume appeared in Norway in the late XIXth century. The country was vigorously aspiring independence, and citizens needed their own national symbols. Byunad became one of them. Then many women began to pay attention not only to the beauty of the dress, but also to its history. So, in 1947 the “Council of byunads and traditional costumes of Norway” was founded. Thanks to this fact “costume police” appeared that controled the accuracy of wearing national costumes. According to rule the Norwegians have right to wear the national costume of the region where they were born, or the one where they lived the most part of their life. If “costume police” singles out that a shop sells byunads without license – this will lead to proceedings. The royal family is not the exception. Like all Norwegians they like byunads, and are happy to wear them to different events.
The year 2009. The whole royal family is wearing byunads of Asker region
The queen Sonya. Byunad of the East Telemark region. The queen Sonya.
Ukrainian embroidered wedding towel: how to embroider on their own
Wedding towel is one of the most important elements of Ukrainian wedding. The tradition to stand on an embroidered towel during the wedding ceremony is known for ages to Ukrainian people. In this way, young people received God blessing. Ukrainian embroidered towel wedding “programmes” future family life, it contains suggestions and symbols that stitchers put into it. First Ukrainian handywomen embroidered towels for matchmakers. It is not a wide towel and it has 2,2–3 meters in length, so the bride wrapped left arm of matchmaker with it.
You can buy the Ukrainian embroidered towel in the store FOBERINI.
Traditionally, two trees, two oaks and two birds on the ends were embroidered on the towel for matchmakers. This ornament is a symbol of fertility. If the girl was married against her will, she embroidered birds that turned heads to each other, thus making it clear that she is married against their will. There is a tradition in Ukraine, where matchmaker covers young bride with embroidered towel. Mother of the groom removes the bride’s veil, a symbol of innocence, and covers wives` head with embroidered handkerchief. This ritual symbolizes that the bride is not a carefree girl any more, but a married woman.
Every Ukrainian girl embroidered Ukrainian embroidered towel for her lover especially diligently. Traditionally, you had to embroider it secretly, and do not show to anyone. Size of an embroidered towel for the groom was 1.5 -2 meters long and 35 centimeters wide. During this engagement the towel was tied to the hands of the groom, and during the wedding the newlyweds tied the hands of this towel. Since long the tradition existed to embroider towels at the wedding, and then the girls embroidered approximately 40 towels, and each of it had its own value. Girls had certain rules of embroidering the wedding towels. It was believed that during the embroidery bride “paints” her good fortune on canvas. You had to embroider the towel in the morning and always pray before. Embroidery was to start from a certain part, because many towels were twofold: with side for woman and for men, and for each part a concrete pattern was fixed.
Embroidery of wedding towel for bride and groom: Canvas is embroidered on both sides in different ways and it is important to ensure that the size of embroidered pieces is the same. Traditionally, the towel is embroidered in three “floors”.
The first is an ornament of family tree under which the birds are usually embroidered. The second “floor” consists of ornaments, which carry wishes for bride and groom, and the third includes the ornaments for guardian.
Finally the bridal wreath is embroidered, which includes the initials of bride and groom. At first you should embroider fringe of a towel. It may be quite different: in form of brushes, lace, leaves etc.
Then you embroider family tree changing them with trees where birds are sitting. Long since two birds symbolize a married couple. You can also embroider swallows, pigeons, peacocks.
Note the tree kinds of embroidery. It should “grow” out of the pot, have two “nodes”. The first is considered as the father’s one, and the second – as the daughter’s. The first branches are embroidered under the parent’s node, there are the grandparents of bride or groom (depending on the towel’s side). If these relatives died, the branches are embroidered down, for the living – the branches “grow” up.
The tree is embroidered on the following principle: on the right there are parents of a mother, and on the left there are the parents of a father. At the central node uncles and aunts are also marked with dotes, and note herewith that if the dots are embroidered on the lower side, they are older than father (mother), and if on the top, then they are younger. At the second level parents are embroidered. On the right – the mother, and on the left – the father.
In the daughter’s node siblings are marked with dots. The embroidery is done on the same principle as the rest: on the top there are senior, on the bottom – younger. On the right – the sisters, on the left – the brothers. The second “floor” wedding towel`s embroidery includes wishes to bride and groom. For the bride roses as a symbol of beauty are embroidered, lilies – as a symbol of purity and innocence, carnations as a symbol of loyalty and poppy as personification of procreation. For the groom vines as a symbol of wealth are embroidered, an oak – a symbol of male power and strength, a viburnum that represents continuous family life.
On the third “floor” the symbols-goddesses are embroidered. Goddess is embroidered on both sides of the canvas, and the middle is left empty for wedding rings. It is better to embroider a wedding towel on yourself to put inside your power maximally and make the correct meaning. If you decided to buy a wedding towel, you risk to bring other people’s thoughts to your family.
If you decided to save time and buy a wedding towel, you can order it at the store FOBERINI.