In this work I’d like to tell about some traditions and beliefs of the pre-Christian period in Great Britain and Russia. In spite of all differences both of these cultures have many similar features. We can find them in old tales, songs and lyrics of old England and Russia.
Speaking of the pre-Christian period we should remember that during the last few centuries the peoples of Europe were under the great influence of pagan traditions and beliefs.
Paganism is a term which is usually understood as denoting any religious act, practice or ceremony which is not Christian. Anyone practicing paganism is usually known as a pagan. Today there are neo-pagans in Britain and Russia.
The word pagan comes from the Latin word “paganus” which means a country dweller. Paganism is based on polytheism. Pagans believe that there are the Gods and Goddess, various mysterious beings which inhabit all surroundings and, according to ancient beliefs, these play a meaningful role in everyday life. Each of them plays its own role in the world and is responsible for any sphere of our reality. Paganism covers a wide spectrum of ideas. Pagans worship nature and the Divine Force. Pagans are deeply aware of the natural world and see the power of the divine in the ongoing cycle of life and death. Pagan theology is based on every day experience, with the aim of Pagan ritual being to make contact with the divine in the world that surrounds them. It would be impossible to understand both British and Russian culture without taking into account old folk-customs and superstitions of ancient times. Pagan mythology is bright and mysterious evidence of old beliefs. It is hoped that these old legends will keep the mysterious spirit and charm of ancient times alive for generations to come.
The folks of Europe created a lot of fantastic images which inhabited all surroundings. Like most other folk, Russian and English peoples had an inexhaustible aspiration for mystery and supernatural forces. The belief in the pagan supernatural beings never quite died out even after strengthening of Christianity in Europe.