Bristol Bay Celebrates Slaviq

Jan 13, 2017

Russian Orthodox around Bristol Bay celebrate Slaviq with the ancient tradition of starring.

Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG

This week it is Slaviq in the Russian Orthodox Tradition, or Christmastime. Following the Julian Calendar, Christmas Day falls on January 7. And for many, Slaviq brings with it an ancient tradition—starring.

Believers bring a large, tinsel covered star with an icon in the center to homes of friends and family in the area. The local communities of Portage Creek, Ekuk, Aleknagik, and Dillingham each have their own stars, and the families who follow these stars have been doing so for generation, singing carols in Yup’ik, Slavonic, and English.

KDLG’s Avery Lill followed the Aleknagik Star to the Dillingham Hotel.

Singers kiss the icon at the center of the star after they finish the carols.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG