Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 June 2014

13 June 2014. It’s Friday the Thirteenth… SHUDDER!

01 scaredy-cat

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Funny “Facts About Friday the 13th”

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IT’S FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH!

SHUDDER!

Actually, NOTHING out of the ordinary has EVER happened to me on this date, and I’m 60! Get real and get living!

BMD

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Great Friday News: Moscow Zoopark Groundhog Wakes Up, Spring Coming Soon! Shall Surok Surokovich Replace Punxsutawney Phil? Ya NEVER Know…

01ac Groundhog Day

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The Moscow Zoopark announced on Facebook, “Friends, we have good news. Spring is coming soon. Our groundhog woke up”. Groundhogs come out of hibernation when temperatures start to rise. Hibernation is less like a deep sleep and more like a coma; the groundhog’s heart rate plunges, blood scarcely flows, body temperature drops to a few degrees above freezing, and breathing nearly stops. Towards the end of their hibernation period, groundhogs awaken briefly several times and pop out of their burrows to check the weather. They may or may not go back to sleep depending on how cold or warm the weather is. After they emerge from hibernation, groundhogs live on their remaining body fat for a couple of weeks to bring their digestive organs back to normal and to prepare for the mating season. They disguise entrances to their burrows to protect them from predators. Mating starts after groundhogs put on some weight.

Groundhogs offer their weather predictions not only in Russia. In the tiny Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, a groundhog weatherman named Punxsutawney Phil made his forecasts since 1887. According to groundhog.org, after the animal appeared in the philosophical comedy film Groundhog Day in 1993, record crowds numbering as many as 30,000 went to the event. With a shadow powerful enough to lift spirits… or dash them… Phil met Pennsylvania governors, appeared on national television talk shows, and on New York City‘s Times Square JumboTron. In 1986, he even travelled to Washington to meet with US President Ronald Reagan. This year, Phil saw his shadow on 2 February, signifying six more weeks of winter.

21 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Great-Friday-news-Moscow-Zoo-groundhog-wakes-up-signifies-spring-coming-soon-0933/

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

25 December 2013. RIA-Novosti Presents… Let’s Meet Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost)! Russia’s One n’ Only Answer to Santa Claus…

00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 01. 24.12.13

Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost), the Russian Santa Claus, has two homes, one in Veliky Ustyug, in northwestern Vologda Oblast, and the other in Moscow’s Kuzminki Park, where he spends the New Year’s holidays.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 02. 24.12.13

Dede has a granddaughter, Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden).

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 03. 24.12.13

Traditionally, Dede travels by sleigh.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 04. 24.12.13

Ahead of New Year’s, Dede has to morph into as many copies as we need to light up New Year’s Trees across the entire country.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 05. 24.12.13

Dede reads the letters that children send to him to learn what each one of them would like to have for a New Year’s gift.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 06. 24.12.13

Dede’s bedroom in his residence at Moscow’s Kuzminki Park.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 07. 24.12.13

Performances dedicated to Dede are an essential part of New Year’s celebrations at Russian schools and kindergartens.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 08. 24.12.13

Where his sleigh will not pass, Dede uses other modes of transportation, such as this air cushion vehicle in St Petersburg.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 09. 24.12.13

Dede in a vintage car in a parade on St Petersburg’s Senate Square.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 10. 24.12.13

Dede has many foreign colleagues, such as Norway’s Julenissen.

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00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 11. 24.12.13

Dede sitting in his Moscow residence

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24 December 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/photolents/20131223/184781297/Father-Frost.html

Editor’s Note:

Dede is part of the secular New Year’s celebration… he isn’t religious at all. The hyper-religious can all get down from their high horses and they can all sit in the corner with their long faces, tight-arsed attitude, and general killjoy spirit. Meanwhile, the rest of us normal human beings can pop a cork or two and SMILE. God gave us this life, and it’s GOOD. Everything has its place, and the secular is just as important for us as the religious is. In any case, Dede is for EVERYBODY… New Year is a “Party for Everybody” (as Buranovskiye Babushki sang (click here for this fab song)). It’s a time when ALL of us can bow to one another, wish one another a good year, hug one another, be unashamedly happy, and do it as one. I see much good… and no bad… in that. Those who think otherwise can kiss my ass, and that’s that.

BMD

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

24 December 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Main Russian New Year’s Tree in the Moscow Kremlin

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Main Russian New Year's Tree in the Moscow Kremlin. 2013

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Loggers cut down the main Russian New Year’s Tree in a forest in Naro-Fominsk Raion in Moscow Oblast on Thursday 19 December. It’s a spruce tree, over 110-years-old. Soon, workers will load it onto a flat-bed trailer and deliver it on Saturday in Moscow, where workers will put it on Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. Strict standards exist for the selection of the Kremlin New Year’s Tree… it must have a smooth trunk, a pyramidal shape, feathery branches, and be at least 30 metres (99 feet) in height. The quality of the trees’s timber is important, for it must be able to withstand temperature fluctuations, and it must last for three weeks without deterioration. Foresters reject any trees with moss or lichen on the trunk, or if they discover that the tree’s hollow. Usually, the trees come from the edge of the forest, as it’s easier to take them out and ship them to the city. For several weeks, a special commission examined the forests surrounding Moscow to select a proper tree. They choose two or three main candidates, for two are backups, just in case the primary tree has an accident for one reason or another during the display period. The decorations are rather simple… it has large, medium, and small ornament balls in the colours of the Russian flag (red, white, and blue).

19 December 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/infografika/20131219/985113920.html

http://en.ria.ru/infographics/20131223/185857162/The-Countrys-Main-Christmas-Tree.html

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