May 4, 2022
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Russian traditions

The Russian people was formed from the united East Slavic tribes, its history can be traced from the first half of the 9th century. Many cultural features of this nation are similar to other European nations, especially Belarusians and Ukrainians. Ancient Russian traditions are a hybrid of Christian and pagan customs. Today, even people who are far from religion observe many of these traditions, ranging from the calendar of holidays to ritual rituals related to marriage, the birth of children and the commemoration of the dead.

Kupala holiday

holiday traditions

Most of the holiday traditions of the Russian people are associated with the dates of the Orthodox calendar and the periods of beginning or completion of field work, some ancient rituals and customs have been preserved since pagan times.

The main Russian folk holidays include:

  • New Year. The tradition of celebrating the beginning of the year as a time for the awakening of nature originated in Mesopotamia, where this holiday was celebrated in the spring. When the countries of Europe began to live according to the Gregorian calendar, the New Year began to be celebrated on January 1 (in Russia by decree of Peter I since 1699).
  • Christmas. Orthodox Christians celebrate it on January 7th. On Christmas Eve, 12 dishes are served on the table – according to the number of apostles – the disciples of Jesus Christ. During the Christmas holidays, children walk the streets, from house to house, wishing their owners health and prosperity in songs, in return they are presented with sweets and money.
  • Easter. The Feast of the Resurrection of Christ is one of the most beloved among the Russian people. On Easter, churches hold an all-night service, consecrate holiday foods (Easter cake, krashenki, homemade sausage, boiled pork). After returning from church, the whole family sits down at the festive table to break their fast after fasting.
  • Trinity. It is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter. The holiday is associated with the day of the descent to earth of the Holy Spirit, who proved the trinity of God. Temples and dwellings on Trinity Day are decorated with fresh grass.
  • Ivan Kupala (observed during the summer solstice). One of the deities of the ancient Russians was Kupalo, the god of summer, light, fertility and purity, the patron of the water and fire elements. On the Kupala night, dew was collected, because magical properties were attributed to it, and bonfires were burned, over which they jumped to cleanse themselves with the Kupala fire.
  • Maslenitsa. This week before Great Lent is dedicated to reconciliation with others, forgiveness of offenses, preparation for the repentant path to God. According to Russian traditions, the essential attributes of Maslenitsa are sleigh rides, treating all friends and relatives with pancakes and flat cakes.

Maslenitsa Russia

Family traditions

A large number of Russian folk customs are associated with the creation of a family and the appearance of children in it. Some of the rites have been preserved since the times of paganism, after the Baptism of Russia new ones were added to them.

Russian wedding

Russian wedding traditions include many interesting rituals and rituals. The first one is marriage. A representative of the groom’s parents come to the house of the bride’s parents and offer to marry her to their “candidate”. If consent is obtained, the bride’s bride is held, the purpose of which is to assess her physical and moral virtues. After the bride, with the mutual consent of the parents of the bride and groom, an engagement is announced.

The last evening before the wedding, the future newlyweds, as usual, spend with friends: the bride gathers her girlfriends for gatherings, and the groom arranges a bachelor party with his single friends. The wedding day begins with the ransom of the bride. Today it is a symbolic ritual – paying a price for relatives and bridesmaids to allow her to go out to her lover.

wedding in Russia

Then comes the most important moment – the young people go through the wedding ceremony in the church, the priest conducts it. This beautiful and touching ritual got its name from the fact that during it, crowns are held over the heads of the newlyweds. For the official registration of marriage, the young go to the registry office, and the bride and groom must arrive there in different cars. After the newlyweds have become husband and wife, all the guests are sent to the wedding feast.

Birth of children

Among the Russians, traditional rites accompanied people from the very cradle. If a boy was born in the family, the umbilical cord was cut on the handle of an ax, and if a girl, on a spindle. It was necessary to tie the umbilical cord with a thread woven with the hair of the baby’s parents. In order for the newborn to sleep well, a piece of aspen bark was placed in his crib or a cat was allowed in. It was believed that aspen bark has healing properties that protect against diseases, and the “psychotherapeutic” abilities of cats have been known since antiquity.

With the advent of Christianity, the rite of baptism of children was introduced into the traditions of the Russian people. When it is performed, the clergyman, with the reading of prayers, dips the baby three times in the water of the holy font. According to church canons, the godparents of the baby, as well as everyone who wishes, except for the relatives of the mother and father, can be present at the rite of baptism. The ritual can be performed both in church and at home; according to tradition, the baby is baptized on the third, eighth or fortieth day after birth.

Baptism of a child

Rites associated with the commemoration of the dead

According to Russian traditions and customs, it is customary to commemorate dead ancestors on Radonitsa, which is celebrated a week after Easter, and also on the eve of major church holidays: Maslenitsa, Trinity, Intercession. On such days, people visit cemeteries, arrange funeral dinners at home.

On memorial days, the ancient Russians laid tables for the spirits of the dead, heated a bathhouse especially for them. The dead were respected and their wrath feared. So that the dead could not get into the house, it was sprinkled around with poppy seeds, which, according to legend, the dead are afraid of.

Funeral customs

Folk crafts

Folk crafts serve as one of the important manifestations of the authenticity of the nation. Of the ancient Russian folk traditions, such unique crafts as lace-making, artistic painting, wood carving, and pottery have been preserved and are successfully developing.

World-famous Yelets lace, which is woven with the help of special wooden spools, has repeatedly received awards at international competitions, samples of Russian lace makers are kept in Russian and foreign museums of folk art.

Russian lace

A special place in Russian folk crafts is occupied by artistic painting:

  • Gorodetskaya. Type of painting on wood, which is used to decorate furniture, toys, boxes, panels.
  • Polkhovsko-Maidanskaya. The products of the masters of this craft are Easter eggs, nesting dolls, goblets, coasters, decorated with plot or ornamental painting.
  • Palekh. The peculiarity of this type of painting is that tempera artists on papier-mâché create miniature compositions, drawing the smallest details.
  • Zhostovskaya. Lacquer painting on trays, known since the early 19th century.
  • Gzhelskaya. An old Russian craft, a type of painting related to blue and white ceramics. Floral patterns on dishes and figurines are made with cobalt paint.
  • Khokhloma. A unique type of hand painting on wood, which uses national ornaments, and the patterns are made in red and gold on a black background, which makes them look like metal products.

Russian culture

One of the crafts that has been preserved in modern Russian traditions is the manufacture of unique, unparalleled in the world, stylized toys: Dymkovo, Romanov, Filimonov. These are whistles painted with bright colors, various figurines depicting gallant officers in uniforms, smart ladies, fantastic animals and birds, flowers, etc. They are made of clay or wood, each type of toy is distinguished by a palette of colors and a painting style.

Russian kitchen

Many characteristic features of the traditional cuisine of the Russian people can be explained by the natural conditions of the places of residence: in it you can find a huge variety of soups and cereals, pickled and salty dishes, game food. Russian cuisine is one of the most popular in the world, as it is distinguished by its wonderful taste and versatility.

Russian borsh

The category of national Russian dishes includes:

  • Kashi. Cereals boiled in water or milk were the main dish of the Russians. No wonder there is an ancient saying “Porridge is our mother.”
  • cabbage soup. A soup whose ingredient list includes cabbage, meat, onions, carrots, and a cabbage pickle dressing.
  • Borsch. Vegetable soup, the main component of which is beets. Usually boiled in meat broth.
  • Okroshka. A cold first course, very popular in the summer. It is prepared on kvass or whey, the components are finely chopped boiled potatoes, sausage or meat, eggs, fresh cucumbers and greens.
  • Dumplings. Small round “bags” of thinly rolled unleavened dough with meat or mushroom filling. In the Russian version of dumplings for minced meat, pork, elk and beef meat is used.
  • Pie. Yeast dough pastries, boat-shaped pies with an open top filled with meat, fish, mushrooms, vegetables or berries.
  • Pancakes. Round thin cakes that are made on yeast or unleavened dough and baked in a pan or oven. This dish is a must-have for Maslenitsa.
  • Bouzhenina. Pickled and then baked in the oven, boneless meat is made from pork, lamb or bear meat. This ancient dish was mentioned even on the pages of the “Domostroy” written in the 16th century, a collection of tips and instructions in all areas of life.
  • Fire cutlets. A dish named after the Pozharsky family tavern in Moscow’s Torzhok. The peculiarity of Pozharsky cutlets is that pieces of butter are added to minced meat. It melts during frying and makes the cutlets juicy and tender.

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Comments to Russian traditions

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    graliontorile May 19, 2022 2:25 am Reply

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