St. Catherine’s Day
St. Catherine’s Day (25.11) was the day of shearing sheep. Spinning, on the contrary, was strictly prohibited. It was also prohibited to shoot birds (and game) on St. Catherine’s Day after doing so, the gun would always miss. Kadris (the female equivalent of Martinmen) used to be performed by girls. In later times, there have been descriptions of men dressed up as women. One specific feature, mainly present in Southern Estonia, which has been pointed out, is the white outfit of Kadris (beautiful, clean, fancy, German clothes). White, as many people know, is the colour of clothes put on the dead, which has remained in place in case of rather old customs. Therefore the outfit of Kadris possibly refers to a rather old custom.
The song of Kadris is divided into parts, just like that of Martinmen. The parts and ways of connecting them are largely the same. Kadris also sing behind the door, and sing when coming in; they have the dancing song, the spinning song, they ask for presents, they give thanks for them, then present the leaving song. The begging song is significantly different, as Kadris ask for tow, wool and flax: Kadri wants some tow,
Kadri asks for wool,
cries to get some flax! The joint party (the so-called Kadri-wedding) also resembles a relevant phase in the customs of St. Martin’s Day.
There are, however, some more differences. In Muhu and No Kadris used to perform as Kadri-geese. "On the eve of St. Catherine’s Day the Kadri-geese came and made voices behind the door. Then they went inside and watered the children. They wore straw around their necks and had made straw-wings to wear on their heads and straw-beaks to put over their mouths. They were given peas, beans, meat and sausages. They walked like geese. The girls sometimes took a small boy with them, in secret, because this brought luck to the family with their geese!" (Muhu). In Muhu, Kadris dressed up as geese. In No people made a goose of straw and brought it along to scare the children (it was also used as a fertility doll). In Puhja they speak about Kadri-crows. Dressing up as an animal or a bird, and making straw-dolls, is a rather old magical custom, aiming to increase fertility.

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