MOTHER’S DAY IN RUSSIA
In Russia, the celebration of Mother’s Day is very recent, it was established by the president of the Russian Federation, Boris Eltsin, in 1998 and since then it is celebrated every year in November.
Every year on August 22, Russia celebrates the Russian Federation State Flag Day, established on August 20, 1994. On this day Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the Presidential Decree No. 1714, stating that the flag day should be celebrated on August 22, in honor of the restoration of the historical flag of Russia during the August events of 1991.
This weekend was the first of many that I will be spending in Saint Petersburg during my three month stay at the Derzhavin institute. Due to the torrential rain which had been assailing the city all week, I had less of a chance than I would have liked for sightseeing. With relatively good weather forecast for the weekend I was determined to make up for lost time….
In today`s post I`ll be asnwering two questions: where to buy gifts for fellow students of Russian and where to buy more traditional souvenirs.
If you are planning your trip to Derzhavin institute, don`t worry: Russia is a civilized country, and you could buy everything you need here. In Saint-Petersburg we have a lot of 24 hours` supermarkets, so you could buy all necessary cosmetics, food, and even clothes on your arrival. So you don`t need to take kilograms of unnecessary things with you. But there are some things that you`ve better to take with you. Here you could find a packing list for your trip.
During my last trip to St Petersburg, I was lucky enough to experience first hand the Russian Banya. I was unsure at first but eventually, after some convincing from my veteran Banya-going friend from France, I decided to give it a try. A group of 6 of us from 5 different countries arrived at Vladimirskaya metro station and went straight to the shops to buy beer and snacks (My personal favourites being Baltika 7, dried calamari rings and anchovies). Following this, we entered the unassuming building and I saw that there were many floors, each housing a different method of relaxation, like…
Being a vegetarian while living abroad can be difficult. Sometimes, it can feel like the only thing on the menu for you is a plate of Овощи гриль (grilled vegetables). But you need not worry if you’re living in Saint-Petersburg – the city is full of fantastic vegetarian (and even vegan) restaurants and cafes. All you have to do is find them!
Cinema has always been an important aspect of Russian culture. Lenin is said to have asserted that, of all the art forms, the most important of all was that of cinema («… вы должны твердо помнить, что из всех искусств для нас важнейшим является кино»).
This weekend, the International Festival of Coffee and Tea will come to St. Petersburg! In preparation for this event, read this article to learn more about Russia’s tea and coffee traditions! You can also find a copy of the festival’s programme in English at the bottom of this post.
Every year on the 1st September, Russia celebrates the ‘Day of Knowledge’ (День Знаний). The holiday bears such a name due to the fact that the day marks the end of summer, the beginning of autumn and, most importantly, the new academic year for students. In other words, the season of long summer days at the Dacha (summerhouse) has ended, and a new year of early-wakeups and homework has begun!
The 3rd of September marks the 76th birthday of Sergei Dovlatov, a writer who rose to fame in the West during the 1970s but who, very sadly, died far too young at the age of 49. Read this post to find out more about Dovlatov, including information about a forthcoming film about the author!
Peter the Great brought about many radical changes during his reign. But why exactly did he want his people to stop having beards? Read this post to find out the answer to this question!
Next week, a festival will take place at Peterhof to celebrate the closing of its fountains. This annual event is always a hit amongst tourists and tickets are limited. This is why we have written this post – to give you plenty of time to plan your trip!
On this day in 1941, the Germans began their 872-day Siege on the city of Leningrad, as part of their effort to bring down the Eastern Front in World War II.
In Russia you can see seemingly strange dishes on display at canteens and cafes. We hope that after reading this post these feelings of yours will disappear and you will be inspired to try some Russian delicacies!
Considered to be one the greatest of Russia’s poets, Anna Akhmatova, is a symbol of Russia and guardian of its culture and language. Born in 1889 in Odessa, her family quickly took up residence in Tsarskoye Selo outside Saint Petersburg, the city in which she would later reside for the greater part of her life. As a daughter of Russia, impacted by the time period in which she lived, her works reflected the changing tides of Russia by critically and poignantly confronting Stalinist Terror, World War II, and the subsequent Russian Thaw.
Wherever you go on March 8, you will be sure to see an abundance of flowers. Flowers in the hands of women, children and grandmothers. Flowers lining the streets. Flowers being passed out in cafes and shops. Bouquets wrapped and on delivery. Flowers, gifts and beauty are on every corner, and it is quite possible you will come across special events being held in honor of women and femininity. Around the streets you will hear congratulations, and, if you are a woman, may even receive congratulations or flowers of your own from strangers and business alike.
Similar to other countries with such long histories, the Russian government has undergone various complete transformations. From early Rus, to the time of the Tsars, to a revolution that birthed the Soviet Union and finally the restructuring into a democratic Russian Federation. The mark of any democracy is the establishment of a free and competitive election process. That is what makes 18 March 2018 a day of significance, the Russian Federation Presidential elections.
There’s no denying it – the weather in St. Petersburg is….challenging (to put it lightly). If you’ve come (or are planning to come) to Derzhavin Institute in Saint Petersburg to study, you’ll need to start thinking about how to survive the cold winter months in the city. The temperatures can drop to as low as minus 30 degrees celsius, and snow can start to fall as early as October (in 2016, the first snowfall happened on October 26th). Therefore, we recommend getting acquainted with some winter vocabulary and stocking up on winter clothing in advance!
Although remembering idioms is not always that easy, you cannot deny that idioms are one of the more interesting parts of learning a new language. We have collected for you some of the more unusual idioms and idiomatic phrases, as well as trivia related to each of them. Enjoy!
There are endless advantages to learning Russian. It can lead to more career opportunities, it can help you when you travel, it can even help keep your brain healthy for longer. But, that’s not to say that learning Russian doesn’t come without its difficulties. Whether you’ve only just started learning Russian, or you’ve been learning it for a few years, you’ll know how easy it is to get mixed up and make a mistake. We’ve gathered some of our favourite mistakes and have listed them below – hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll avoid making these (often embarrassing) mistakes in the future!
Founded by Catherine the Great and boasting over 4 million paintings, sculptures, documents, artifacts, and other items, the Hermitage Museum is the largest collection of art in Russia and one of the largest in the world. It is well worth a visit any time, but if you don’t have plans, consider going this Thursday – the first Thursday of every month is free to all visitors.
With over 200 museums to be found in Saint Petersburg, the most well known is the Hermitage. While the Hermitage, Russian Museum, and The Peter and Paul Fortress deserve a visit or two from anyone who spends time in the city, these museums are certainly not the only ones that should spark your interest. Here are my personal top five less visited museums in Saint Petersburg, with a few honorable mentions!
When you think of theater in Russia, most likely the Russian Ballet performing Swan Lake comes into your mind. With images of the elaborate beauty of the classic Mariinsky Theatre, you can be transported back into a time of unparalleled elegance. As the cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg is home to both classical and modern theatre companies known and respected throughout Russia and the world. Music theatres, ballet and opera theatres, puppet theatres and drama theatres all have something unique to offer.
Nikolai Gogol, born 31 March 1809, would go on to become one of the most renowned and influential Russian writers. Gogol can be claimed as the founder of realist literature, laying the groundwork for Russian prose that would influence great writers after him. However, it was in his surrealist writings that Gogol produced some of his most original and celebrated works that delved deep into the darker side of society by comically combing the fantastic with the grotesque.
Saint Petersburg is a city of culture, history, architecture with delicious food and drink. During a long day of exploring the city, or if you find yourself simply needing to escape from the cold, there is not much better than sitting down in an quaint café and enjoying good conversation with a great cup of coffee. If you are traveling through Saint Petersburg delicious cafes are on just about every street corner. To be sure that you make the most out of your caffeine selection, here is a list of some of the best cafes for ambiance, comfort and of course, quality!
Novgorod is one of Russia`s oldest cities and has, through its centuries of existence, played an immeasurably important role in Russian history and the development of Russia as a state. The Derzhavin institute often organises trips to the city as part of its cultural program but, seeing as Novgorod is a considerable distance away from St Petersburg, students often wonder whether it is worth their time to travel there or not. If this sounds like you, then read on; the points in this post will help you to make a decision.
On May 9th 1945 (Moscow ime) Nazi Germany officially surrendered and the war in Europe ended. This day, known is Russia as День Победы (Victory Day), has a special place not only in Russian history but also in modern Russian society and culture. In this blog post you’ll learn about how Russians celebrate this holiday and about the special events that will be held in its honour this year in St Peterburg.
Take a look at this following sentence:
“Мария гуляла в парке с 7 собаками”
If you’re not 100% sure how you would say the number “7” here, then this article is for you.
The Peter and Paul Fortress is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in St Petersburg and frequently features in the Derzhavin Institute’s cutural programme. In this blog post we’ll be taking a look at the history of the fortress, explaining what you can expect to see on a tour though the Derzhavin institute, as well as going into the details of a few of the less-well-known aspects of the museums for those who’ve already been there before.
If you want to learn Russian properly, then reading regularly is an absolutely must. When we read, not only will we undoubtedly find new and unfamiliar words, but we also have the chance, unlike in real-time conversation,s to record these new words so they stick with us. Unfortunately for some, this very possibility can make reading quite a frustrating experience. Perfectionists like myself who need to know the meaning and nuances of every single word they meet may find themselves spending more time looking up new words than they do reading the actual book.
What can you do then if you just can’t bear to let a single word pass by unknown? Read on to find out…
Ever wondered how кое-кто, кто-то, and кто-нибудь can all translate to someone in English and yet have completely different meanings in Russian? By the time you’ve finished reading this post you’ll be an expert in using the prefix кое- and the suffixes -то and -нибудь with this and other Russian question words.
Pull out your map of St Petersburg. Find the Derzhavin Institute and look slightly north west, just below where the Blagoveshchenskiy Bridge crosses the River Neva. Can you see the strange triangular shaped Island? That is Новая Голландия (New Holland).
Two major icons of Russian culture celebrate their birthday today. Read on to find out who…
Whether it’s a quick friendly peck or a long passionate smooch, International Kissing Day is the perfect excuse to grab your loved ones and show them some love. There is a million different ways to deliver a kiss to those you care about, and on the 6th of July you can celebrate them all! Keep reading and to find out which are the 5 most romantic spots in Saint Petersburg to take your special someone and pucker up!
Stereoleto Music Festival is a symbol of the city of Saint Petersburg and one of the most anticipated music events of the summer. Now in its 18thedition, Stereoleto Music Festival 2019 awaits all music lovers in Saint Petersburg for two unforgettable days of amazing music, lots of singing, dancing and fun!
The Russian Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness, also commonly known as Petr’s and Fevronia’s Day is celebrated in all Russia on July 8 as a Russian alternative to St. Valentine’s Day. It was introduced in 2008 in honor of Saint Peter and Saint Fevronia, patrons of marriage and family, as well as symbols of love and fidelity.
World Chocolate Day is observed on July 11 in Russia, famous for its fine chocolate all around the world. If you want to celebrate the sweetest day of the year buying some Russian chocolate, keep reading to find out how to choose the right kind for you and where to find it in Saint Petersburg!
Besides being one of the biggest and most awaited music festivals of the summer, the VK Festival is also a perfect opportunity to explore Russian pop culture and watch the most famous bloggers, influencers, stars and entertainers in the country performing live. Don’t miss it on July 20 and 21 in St. Petersburg!
This Sunday July 28, 2019 Russia will celebrate Navy Day, an official holiday celebrated annually on the last Sunday of July to honor the service of all Russian Navy heroes, veterans and active personnel.
Magnificent commemorative naval parades, demonstrations and simulated marine operations are held at naval bases all over the country, but the biggest event is happening here, in Saint Petersburg! But before I tell you all about it, here are some interesting facts about the history of this important holiday you might want to know in advance!
Nowadays, Christianity is the major religion of the Russian Federation and on July 28 every year Russia celebrates the anniversary of a fundamental landmark in its history: the Baptism of Rus (Крещение Руси). It refers to the Christianization of Kievan Rus, conventionally set in the year 988, when Vladimir the Great was baptized in Chersonesus and proceeded to baptize his family and people in Kiev.
So… you’re spending some time in Saint Petersburg, you didn’t know today was the International Friendship Day and now you have no idea where to take your best friends for a special afternoon? Don’t worry, keep reading and you’ll find the answer to all your problems in this article!
One of the cutest holidays of the year, the International Cat Day takes place every year on August 8. It should come as no surprise Russians celebrate this occasion, as they are among the biggest cat lovers in the world! In fact, according to a Dalia Research survey, 59% of the Russian respondents declared to have at least one cat. Keep reading to find out where you are most likely to meet one of these lovely furry inhabitants of Saint Petersburg!
If you are fortunate to have visited St Petersburg during the summer you’ll notice 2 things. 1, the sun never really goes down all the way and it remains light for weeks, giving this period the name ‘White Nights’ (Белые ночи). And 2, there are many festivities one can attend as a result of this, such as Ballet at the Marinksy Theatre and Concert Hall or carnivals in the suburbs around St Petersburg. But perhaps the most famous festival of all during this time is The Scarlet Sails celebrationIf you are fortunate to have visited St
If you are fortunate to have visited St Petersburg during the summer you’ll notice 2 things. 1, the sun never really goes down all the way and it remains light for weeks, giving this period the name ‘White Nights’ (Белые ночи). And 2, there are many festivities one can attend as a result of this, such as Ballet at the Marinksy Theatre and Concert Hall or carnivals in the suburbs around St Petersburg.
Easter, the most important and celebrated holiday for the Russian Orthodox Church, is observed based on the Julian calendar and often falls on a different Sunday than the Catholic or Protestant Easter. This year, the Russian Orthodox Easter will be celebrated 8 April. As in many countries, the Easter celebrations in Russia are full of significance, traditions, family and delicious Easter treats.
If you’ve ever walked down Nevskii Prospect you’ve probably already seen the Eliseevskii emporium. If you haven’t, you’re sure to notice it the first time you do. Between its colourful window displays and its five storey high dark stone walls, adorned with green-bronze statues and detailing, you’d have a very hard time trying to miss Eliseevskii. Despite the shop’s size, when looking for souvenirs, only the first floor is really important. Here you will find one of the most ornately decorated food halls you’ve ever seen.
When people first think about Russia, chances are their minds are first filled with images of Red Square, the Kremlin and the colorful tops of St. Basil`s Cathedral. Moscow, the heart and capital of Russia, can be recognized throughout the world. However, only in recent history has Moscow held the title of “capital,” and even then, one of Russia`s other great and well-known cities took its place.
Cities are great and all but sometimes you want you want to get a little bit closer to nature. For all its strengths St. Petersburg`s streets can often seem overly devoid of anything green and growing. Fortunately it has plenty of amazing parks to make up for it.
One of the many unusual but exciting holidays that Russia celebrates every year is “День рисования на асфальте”, literally “drawing-on-asphalt day”, which is observed on July 16. Not only is this holiday highly entertaining for both young and not so young people, it is also a fun way to appreciate this incredibly beautiful variety of street art.