Voices from Russia

Sunday, 14 January 2018

14 January 2018. Only in Russia… It’s Old New Year!

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Today is Old New Year in Russia! Yes… that’s an unofficial Russian holiday. You see, 14 January is 1 January on the Julian Calendar that the Orthodox Church uses. Therefore, many people (including many non-religious sorts) hold a second New Year celebration on that day. A leftist friend of mine emailed me:

People are abandoning the Fast less and less at New Years. There are Communist New Year’s Parties where (out of respect for Believers) a table groans under the weight of delicious Lenten delicacies… lobster, shrimp, oysters, herring, caviar, savoury Persian and Caucasian vegan treats, Lenten pirozhki, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and so much more. Plus, there’s an open bar of the best champagne, vodka, and Cuban & Haitian rum. Of course, they have a table full of meat and dairy items for secular people. However, those Comrades who observe the Nativity Fast can keep both the letter of the Church’s law and, with moderation, its spirit.

That’s why many keep the Old New Year… it allows them to have the meat n’ dairy delicacies that they abstained from on 1 January (many Orthodox Christians abstain until 7 January, the Julian date for the Nativity). Then, there are the party animals, for whom any excuse will do for a shindig.

To the Old New Year! Lift a glass and cheer!

BMD

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Monday, 1 January 2018

1 January 2018. URA! It’s the New Year! FEAST, FEAST, FEAST!

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There are three major holidays in the Russian consciousness… New Year, Easter, and Victory Day. Yes… Christmas isn’t as big a deal as it is in the West, but as one Russian priest wrote me:

Why should we give up such an ADVANTAGE? It means that the secular holiday centres on New Year, not Christ’s Nativity, which is more of a Christian intramural holiday (which is what it should be). We focus on the Incarnation and what it means to us. As for me, I was in the USA for one of your Christmases. It repelled me. It had all the bad aspects of Russian New Year, with few of its good things, all layered over with a pseudo-religious veneer. No… I think that our way is best.

It’s time to feast… most Orthodox Russians lay aside the Nativity Lent for a day. That’s not in the books… that’s how it works out in real-life. Have a most wondrous holiday and do pass the jug… it’s time to PARTY!

BMD

Saturday, 29 April 2017

29 April 2017. Is Your Parish Still Celebrating? It Should Be…

00 russia dancers krasnogorsk raion moscow oblast 290417

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The above image is of the Красная горка (Krasnaya Gorka: Red Hill) celebration in Dmitrov (Krasnogorsk Raion, Moscow Oblast). Where better to celebrate “Red Hill” than in “Red Hill” Raion? Red Hill is the popular name for Thomas Sunday and for the following week. Obviously, it’s a “baptism” of pre-Christian pagan festivities marking the beginning of spring, people hold dances and fairs, organise bonfires and celebrations, and often hold marriages at this time (it’s thought particularly auspicious). People make another round of Easter Eggs and Cakes and keep the party spirit alive. By the way… the Igumen of the local Monastery of St Dmitri Salunsky blessed this festival…

It’s party hearty until Pentecost… keep it alive until then…

BMD

Thursday, 9 March 2017

9 March 2017. As Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky… Real-Life Superheroes

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On 8 March, the world celebrates real-life superheroes… women. International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March every year, commemorates the women’s rights movement. In Russia, it’s a public holiday.

8 March 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201703081051378893-real-life-superwoman/

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