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1. Religion meets science
A. Of all the public holidays in Russia New Year is the first in popularity. Russian New Year traditions resemble those of the Western Christmas. Another popular family winter holiday is Old New Year which is New Year according to the Julian Calendar. It ends the New Year holiday cycle which also includes Christmas.
B. On January 25 the day of Saint Tatiana is celebrated. On this day in 1755 the Russian Empress Elizabeth signed a decree establishing Moscow State University. So in Russia this day is also the holiday of students. This day coincides with the end of examinations when students have all the reasons to celebrate. Time for partying begins for them.
C. One of the folk holidays is Maslenitsa or Butter Week which is celebrated during the eighth week before Easter by snowball fights, sledding and other activities. In Slavic mythology it is a celebration of the coming end of winter. The shape of pancakes, which were cooked on this day, was the praise to the sun. Pancakes are still the most characteristic food of Maslenitsa.
D. The night of Ivan Kupala is celebrated by joyful rituals, songs, bonfires. People believed that the highest jumper over the bonfire was the luckiest. Mothers used to burn the shirts of their sick children in those bonfires to put an end to their diseases. Fern was believed to bloom at midnight. No man could pick up this flower, but if you saw it any wish would come true.
E. The Russian analogue of Valentine’s Day is Peter and Fevronia Day which takes place on July 8. It focuses, however, on family love. It is believed that Peter and Fevronia are historical figures. Peter stands for the Murom prince David Yurievich. The prince married a peasant woman and was buried in the same grave with his wife.
F. Scarlet Sails tradition which began after World War II is a famous event of the White Nights Festival. It is associated with a love story told by Alexander Green in the book which has the same title. One can see ships with scarlet sails navigate along St. Petersburgh’s main waterways. Fireworks and concerts help to celebrate freedom from “schools and rules” at the end of the school year.
G. Capitulation of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War is celebrated by a parade in Red Square in Moscow. People all over Russia meet with war veterans, fireworks and outdoor concerts are held. Many other countries also celebrate this day. For example, a ceremony is now held in London aboard a museum ship “Belfast”, which played an important role in many important battles.
A – 5
B – 1
C – 6
D – 7
E – 3
F – 2
G – 4