It is difficult to overestimate the role of the Cossacks in the history of the Ukrainian people.
October 14 – the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks is celebrated in Ukraine according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated 07 August 1999 No. 966/99.
On this day two great holiday – Intercession of the Theotokos and Day of defender of Ukraine.
The specified holiday set, given the historical significance and merits of the Cossacks in the assertion of Ukrainian statehood and a significant contribution to the modern process of state formation.
Everyone in Ukraine heard about the Cossacks. About them written many scientific books and artistic works, films were shot. About the Cossack family and its leaders said in a solemn song of our country – the national anthem of Ukraine. Cossacks can be seen on the parades of Ukrainian troops, their image is on the Ukrainian money and postage stamps. And about a little boy and an adult guy who knows how to defend its honor and to protect the weak, old, woman, we say: a real Cossack. Cossack in the view of Ukrainian is a victorious warrior who will not part with the sword, defender of the Fatherland, defender of rights, faith, customs and dignity of everyone who lives under the sky of Ukraine.
The uniqueness of our history and our people lies in the fact that the Cossacks were freedom-loving and creative spirit of our ancestors. Many of us today have Cossack names. Using Cossacks created our history, and each of us is not only involved, but responsible for it. Interestingly, the celebration of Day of Ukrainian Cossacks coincides with the feast of the Intercession of the blessed virgin. Since ancient times, the virgin Mary is the patroness of Ukrainian Cossacks and all of the Ukrainian armed forces. The Cossacks had at the camp Church in honor of Intercession of the Holy virgin with its icon.
In Ukraine there is no more important factor would be with the centre and crossroads and the content of the vast majority of social processes, and more important component of national and territorial consolidation, the Cossacks. It is this phenomenon which has contributed to the development of this way of life of the Ukrainian nation, which helped him to survive not only the lack of their own state, but in times of total destruction of all national identity. Over the past three and a half centuries the Ukrainian people three times up on the struggle for the establishment of the state independence. As wrote the French diplomat the Pepin the Short in his historical work, published in 1788 in Paris, the Holy virgin was for the Cossacks a big holiday, because their Church was dedicated to the virgin Mary. When they wanted to elect new members of the elders, was going on this day.
Regarding the origin of the word “Cossack” there are many theories. Some Polish researchers believed that it came from the name of a famous leader, whose name was Kozak and who himself fought with the Tartars; or that the name comes from the word “goat”, because the Cossacks were very cunning and can climb anything. The Turkish “Kazak” means “tramp”, “the Highwayman”. It is logical that the Turks gave the Cossacks a nickname. Obviously it caught on in Ukraine and over time lost a negative connotation.
Cossacks is a separate and unique phenomenon not only in Ukrainian history, and even in the world. Nowhere in the world there was no such thing as SICH. No wonder with courage, strength, cunning and intelligence of the Cossacks often found a modicum of mysticism, which makes them something more than just warriors.
Interesting facts about the Ukrainian Cossacks
A society without police and without prisons
It seems impossible but in th society had no form of police or officers for the law as was the case in all other major cities. The laws at the camp was pretty brutal. For theft or murder of one fellow, a Cossack is not something that is paid with life, and did it in a rather harsh manner: he could have been buried alive with the dead, or beat them with sticks, which often ended fatally. So, we can say that it is not humane, but the discipline was great.
The First Republic
Sich can rightly be considered the first political formation with signs of the Republic, she was independent and all European countries tried to establish diplomatic relations with it.
Existed among the Cossacks interesting custom. Their huts were always open. The traveler or passer-by can go in there, to stay, to eat and move on in a way. And even if you’re not home. However, there was a strict rule, hut nothing to make, and otherwise punished. And as someone will find something at the camp, binds her to a high post. For three days the owner is not there, then the thing passes into the possession of whoever found it.
Chief is a cook
At the beginning of the CAMP chief Hetman was “cook”, that is cook. No wonder the name was Ataman!
Ataman until the mid-seventeenth century is often called the Hetman.
In the Cossack Republic, the government ataman restricted report, time, and glad of the Cossacks. Each Mishka annually, January 1, reported to the brethren in Council. If the Cossacks have expressed dissatisfaction with his actions, the chieftain immediately threw down his hat, put a stick, bowed to society, thanks for showing during the year honour, and went to his tent.
Cossacks ate from the same pot. He was revered as a Shrine and a symbol of their military unit. The Cossack rebellions began with the fact that they overturned their cauldrons. The boilers also played the role of a symbol of the unity of the military Smoking.
In the military campaigns of the Cossacks to drink was strictly forbidden. Violation of this rule was equated to treason and could have prevented the death.
The Cossacks without bread
Cossacks each hut lived together with their chieftain. The cooking facilities in each hut was the cook, assisted by several boys, which brought him the water and he cleaned pots after lunch.
Lunch consisted of two dishes. The first was called “Salamakha,” she reminded me of the porridge prepared with flour, water and salt. The second was called “ture” and was a mixture of flour, cereals and millet. It was a little more liquid, the ture, because it added a lot of weak beer or soup. Supplies bought for the money booth. Mentioned food was served in large vessels, called “vacancy”, but never used bread. The Cossacks, who were not satisfied with the usual dishes and wanted to eat meat or fish, buy them their own money pleated wholesale.
Mustache and Oseledets Cossacks
With regard to the distinctive hairstyle and mustache of Ukrainian knights, it is said that the Cossacks inherited from their pagan ancestors. The tradition of shaving the head and face was passed down from local tribes to Kievan Rus, and so eventually reached the Cossacks.
Historians say that the ancient Slavs there is no God with a beard or long hair, and therefore such an image has long been considered divine. Although there is another legend that the Cossacks considered themselves too sinful for heaven. So when they go to hell, God can have mercy on them and pulling at the hair.
And yet, the Cossacks said: “As the war will die – my angel carried away into heaven by the hair”.