Fairy tale began in Belarus on the eve of Christmas. This time is called Kalyada. They last from December 25 to January 7.A hundred years ago, in cities and villages, children gathered at a puppet theater. This theater is called Batleika (from the name of the biblical city of Bethlehem). These theaters were in many European countries. Poles called theater shopka and Ukrainians called it a vertep.
How did batleika look? Oh, it was very simple. This was a box with two doors on the front. Inside the box could separate by shelves for 2 or 3 floors.
Batleyka was a one-story first. People were made dolls of wood and fabric, and showed plays on religious themes.
Over time, the second floor appeared Batleyka. Now, the play was different: the upper floor was for scenes with angels, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the lower floor symbolized hell. This shows the "bad guys": King Herod, the devil. By the way, two-story Batleika become the most popular in Belarus.
Then Batleika became a three-story. Upper floor symbolized paradise, ground floor symbolized hell, and the middle floor was for interludes. Scenes from the life of the people playing on this floor.
The most popular piece was called "King Herod." She showed in the towns and villages of Belarus to the early 20th century.
Now people can see Batleika in cities and villages (as many years ago). Student theater is and they go to school before Christmas. There is a Batleyka thaetre in Minsk