Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 January 2018

6 January 2018. Today is Catholic Epiphany… Their Twelve Days of Christmas End as Ours Begin

The Adoration of the Magi

Daniel Mitsui



Today is Catholic Epiphany. Their Twelve Days of Christmas end today. Our Twelve Days of Christmas begin tomorrow. That is, if you’re a party-animal and general rabble-rouser, celebrate with your Catholic friends until 6 January and then move on over to your Orthodox friends on 7 January. However… there’s a fly in the ointment… if you want to party with us Pravoslavny sorts, do remember that we jump in ice-holes outdoors on our Epiphany and we’ll drag you along to join in the fun.

Good wishes to all of my friends keeping the Catholic feast…



Monday, 7 January 2013

7 January 2013. It’s Christmas… Ura! A Wonderful Holiday to All of You and Yours!

00 Orthodox Christmas 2013. 07.01.13


I bow before all of you and wish you all a most blessed and FUN holiday season. After Christmas, comes the Svyatki (“Holy Days”), our version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. There’s no fasting allowing… feast, feast, feast! I’ll carve the roast beast and pass out the jiggers (of course, they’re full… sheesh). You can eat them in a boat, you can eat them on a goat… you can eat as much green eggs n’ ham as you like. No grinchiness is allowed… SMILE! Let your heart grow three sizes… it can!

Христос раждается! Славите его!

The front gate’s unlatched… the key’s under the mat… y’all come and be welcome!

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 7 January 2013

Orthodox Christmas

Albany NY

Sunday, 6 January 2013

6 January 2013. Video. A Serbian-American Send-Up… The Twelve Days of Božic

01i Bagpipes serbian gaide



Here’s a Serb take on The Twelve Days of Christmas… The Twelve Days of Božic… SMILE… and pass that jug!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

3 January 2013. Happy Holidays from Belarus… With an Excursus on What “Holiday Season” Means…

00a Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Ded Moroz. Snegurochka

A Ded Moroz/Snegurochka parade in Minsk (Minsk Urban District) BELARUS


00b Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Wedding Couple

A New Year couple marries in Minsk (Minsk Urban District) BELARUS


00c Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Ded Moroz. Snegurochka.Vitebsk maternity home

Dede and Snegurochka give over a baby daughter to her parents at a maternity home in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast) BELARUS


00d Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. revellers. Vitebsk

New Year’s Eve revellers in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast) BELARUS


I’m saying “holiday season” with malice aforethought. It’s not just Christmas, kids… for instance, the “Holiday Season” in the USA begins after Thanksgiving, goes through Catholic Christmas, and ends on New Year’s Day. In Canada, it’s similar, but it begins in the last week of November, as Canadian Thanksgiving is more of a proper Harvest Thanksgiving, so, it’s in October. That’s the Secular Holiday Season, and, yes, “Season’s greetings” is quite appropriate.

Catholic Christmas is broke into two seasons… Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Advent centres on the four Sundays preceding Christmas; it’s a season of preparation. The Christmas season proper begins on 25 December and runs until Epiphany on 6 January. St Nicholas Day on 6 December and Secular New Year’s on 1 January overlap this period.

Orthodox Christmas, like Catholic Christmas, has a Lenten period preceding it. For forty days before the Nativity on 7 January/25 December, Orthodox prepare for the feast. After the Nativity, comes the Svyatki (Holy Days), which are equivalent to the Twelve Days of Christmas. The Christmas season ends with Epiphany on 19/6 January. Like Catholic Christmas, St Nicholas Day (19/6 December) and Secular New Year’s overlap the season.

If that’s not enough, the Russian New Year Period begins on New Year’s and ends on 10 January, three days after Orthodox Nativity. To add further spice to this already simmering slumgullion, Jewish Hanukkah season overlaps the holiday period, and the Islamic Ashura and Islamic New Year can overlap the period (the Islamic calendar is lunar and the dates “wander”… as does the Jewish calendar, but not as badly).

Whew! There’s a whole lot of partying going on, for all sorts of reasons, all overlapping the same season. Ergo, “Happy Holidays”… Christmas isn’t the only game in town… and Christians aren’t the only ones celebrating.

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Albany NY

3 January 2013

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