THE LEGEND OF BASHKORT HOLIDAYS

After the world had been created, people got settled in different places and began their usual way of living. Every nation was given its language, its clothing, its food. When everything had been distributed, God declared to all the peoples: "Come on a certain particular day to get hold of your holidays."

Every nation sent its most efficient people to God. There was one man of the Bashkorts. Each messenger got five holidays apiece. They took hold of them, loaded them onto their carts and set forth back to their homes.

When the Bashkort was on his way home, the axle of his cart-wheel got broken. What was there to be done? By no means could he leave the holidays on the road. And he passed over the holidays to neighbours, left the cart on the road and went home on horse back.

All the people around began holiday-making. There were merriment, laughter and songs everywhere. And only in the land of Bashkorts there was rest and silence. People were not smiling - they had no holidays. What was to be done? Unable to find a solution to this predicament, the Bashkorts decided to send the same man to God again.

When the man appeared before God, the Almighty was in his slumber. Without looking at the visitor, he started the inquiries:

"Who are you?"

"I am from the land of Bashkorts."

"I have given away everything that I had. What is it that you want?"

"Sorry to say, O Lord, but we haven't got any holidays. On the way back my cart got broken, so I passed over the holidays, granted by you, to others. Our country is glum. We need holidays, O Lord!"

God sprang to his feet and spoke thus: "I've run out of holidays. If you are in urgent need of holidays, invite guerts; Each guest will bring a holiday with him."

Since then inviting guests has become a custom with the Bashkort people A guest came - it means a holiday came to one's home. Since then heartfelt hospitality has been deeply rooted with Bashkort people.