Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

3 February 2015. Lent is Creepin’ Up on Us, Kids…

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics.  Replacement Ingredients in Lenten Periods. 2012

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This year, Catholic Easter is 5 April and Orthodox Easter is 12 April (that is, Catholic Easter is Orthodox Palm Sunday). So, Catholic Lent begins on 18 February, Ash Wednesday… Orthodox Lent starts on 16 February, on Pure Monday. That is, Maslenitsa is next week, and some of the Catholic Carnival seasons have begun. The Orthodox rule for Lent is abstinence from meat, eggs, and dairy products… anything beyond that is really monastic, not for layfolk. Any road, the late Patriarch Pimen Izvekov blessed laypeople and clergy in the world (including seminarians) to eat fish during the Great Lent. It appears that some loud rigourists were causing trouble… well, Vladyki Pimen ended that… tout suite. Remember what Lent is FOR… to bring us to Holy Easter prepared for the Feast of Feasts, the Holyday of Holydays, the utmost festival and holiday of Christendom. It’s NOT an end in itself. It’s a road with a destination, not a prideful calculus of comparing what one eats and doesn’t eat. Sadly, some compare what others do to their own Lenten effort and do nothing but excoriate them for lack of zeal. That’s not why the Church gives us this season. The Forty Days DO have a reason… to allow us to meet the Resurrection as Christians ought. Anything else is demonic pride and prelest. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death… THAT’S the “reason for the season”.

BMD

Sunday, 29 September 2013

29 September 2013. A Photo Essay. From the Russian Web… It’s the 180th Oktoberfest in München!

00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 10. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 01. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 02. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 03. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 04. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 05. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 06. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 07. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 08. 28.09.13

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00 Oktoberfest. Munchen. 09. 28.09.13

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It’s a beer marathon! This weekend Mayor Christian Ude of München opened the first keg of beer with the traditional “O’zapft is!” (“It’s uncorked, now!”). Every year, this ritual starts Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival. This year, it’s the 180th such party in the Bavarian capital. For 16 days, the partiers will guzzle special Oktoberfest beer in litre mugs served by buxom barmaids. This time around, there’s some ouch… the beer went up in price from 9.40 Euros (410 Roubles. 12.75 USD. 13.10 CAD. 13.65 AUD. 7.90 UK Pounds) per stein to 9.85 Euros (430 Roubles. 13.35 USD. 13.75 CAD. 14.30 AUD. 8.25 UK Pounds).

BMD

Sunday, 17 March 2013

17 March 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Traditions of Celebrating Maslenitsa

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Traditions of Celebrating Maslenitsa. 2013

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On 11 March, Maslenitsa began in Russia… the last seven days before the onset of Lent. Maslenitsa is one of the most exciting, colourful, and lively folk holidays, which, contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with paganism, but rather has a direct relationship to Orthodox Easter. Archpriest Maksim Kozlov, a professor at the Moscow Theological Academy (MDA), told RIA-Novosti, “The time to celebrate Maslenitsa is tied to Easter, for Maslenitsa, the last week before Lent, begins exactly eight weeks before Easter. In terms of church canons, Maslenitsa is a half-holiday. During Maslenitsa, we don’t eat meat, but you can eat every other non-Lenten food, including dairy products… abstinence on Wednesdays and Fridays is cancelled. During Maslenitsa, services on Wednesday and Friday are particularly long, just like in Lent, with many prostrations. The idea behind the canons is to gradually bring Christians into Lent”. Meanwhile, pancakes, once perceived as a pagan symbol of the sun, with the Christianisation of Rus, became the traditional festive meal in “Cheese Week“, just as kulich and paskha cheese (click here and here for recipes) celebrate Easter, the Resurrection of Christ.

11 March 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/infographics/20130311/179940165/The-Traditions-of-Celebrating-Maslenitsa.html

http://ria.ru/infografika/20130311/926081600.html

Monday, 13 February 2012

13 February 2012. A Point of Unity… The Great Lent’s Sneaking Up on Us… It’s Time for the Carnevale di Venezia

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Ash Wednesday for Catholics is 22 February, nine days from now… that means that Catholic Carnival is around the corner. That usually tells us that Maslenitsa‘s on the way a week later. This year, Catholic Easter’s on 8 April (yours truly’s birthday), and Orthodox Easter’s on 15 April. For me, Maslenitsa means that the worst of the winter is OVER. There’s only four more weeks left of it, more or less. Don’t forget, Christians share MANY things in common… whether we be Orthodox, Catholic, or Reformation Protestant. Ponder this… we have virtually NOTHING in common with Sectarians (they’re closer to Muslims than they are to us Christians, yet, they hate Mulsims with a passionate intensity… go figure). The yearly “Christian Cycle” is one thing that Christians share… from Orthodox to Catholics, from Evangelical Lutherans to Anglicans, from Calvinists to Mennonites. That’s why the “Born Agains” are so obviously NOT Christian… there’s no “rhythm” to their “year”.

This year, Venice was hit with freezing weather (see the image above), but the festivities are still rolling on, despite the lowest temps in eighty years. It takes MUCH more than mere cold to get life-affirming and ever-inventive guineas down. They’ll just put on their long undies and party hearty… that’s the ticket! If there’s one thing Italians know, they know that politics comes and goes, it’s an ephemeral thing, but life DOES go on, it doesn’t change, so, they know what to emphasise. As for me, I stand with the merry and well-grounded guineas… they know what’s what, who’s who, and what’s real (and what’s not)… and those aren’t bad things to know, are they?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 13 February 2012

Albany NY 

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