Local traditions and culture in Moscow

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Moscow

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    Plaques

    by mikey_e Written Jul 15, 2008

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    Moscow may be a city that is experimenting (quite wildly) with commercialism and the sort of hedonism long denied its residents under the Soviet régime, but there is no shortage of reminders of the love of culture, history and education that so marks the Russian character. One of the best examples is the plethora of plaques and signs commemorating historic events and personalities all around Moscow. You see them everywhere - on the sides of buildings, on walls, in parks... of course, they're entirely in Russian, which makes it difficult to understand the historical significance of the plaque if you don't speak the language. Some of them are quite intricate, especially when they relate to inventors and scientists (as there are often pictures of molecules or inventions together with a likeness of the individual). More often than not, they commemorate the buildings in which historical events occured - from auditoriums in which Lenin delivered his first addresses after the Russian Revolution, to the buildings in which accords relating to the official relations between the USSR and Mongolia were signed.

    Plaque commemorating a famous scientist Plaque commemorating the Revolution
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    Lyublino Estate Musical Fesivals

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jan 20, 2008

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    The Durasov serf theatre was well-known in Moscow in the 19th century: there were about 100 musicians and actors in his orchestra and in his troupe who studied at a special school in his estate. Performances, balls, evening-parties… life was in full swing in his estate.

    Today the spirit of art has again returned to the Durasov estate that was restored some time ago. The music of Hydn and Shostakovich, and also Schubert and Rakhmaninoff are performed there. And the music of England, France and Russia of the 16th to the 18th centuries restore the historical spirit of the Durasov Palace.

    The “Musical Festivals” will continue in the Durasov Palace in Lyublino.

    String Quartet
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    Classical music concerts in Kuskovo

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jan 13, 2008

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    During the summer the Estate's main palace hosts occasional classical music concerts and festivities, organized by the US and French Embassies, to celebrate Independence Day on June 4th and Bastille Day on July 14th. The celebrations usually involve music, fashion shows, period costumes, games and air displays.

    Kuskovo
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    Russian Brass bands

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 1, 2008

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    You may obviously find and listen to the concert of brass instruments if you visit Arkhangelskoye in week-ends. The audience always delightfully attends performances of brass bands on alleys of the park.

    These bands regularly participate in culture events and holidays in Arkhangelskoye.
    Bands usually have an extremely varied repertoire of music. May be their level is not very high and differs from professional but it allow to perform a wide range of music from classical pieces to folk and pop.

    Arkhangelskoye - Russian Brass band
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    Russkiye Kacheli

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Dec 31, 2007

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    "Russkiye kachely" means "Russian swing". It's a traditional Russian game for children but not only for them... You may find various Kacheli in the Arkhangel'skoye park.

    There is a proverb: What one loses on the swings, one makes up on the roundabouts. You may try this proverb for yourself!

    Arkhangelskoye - Russian Kacheli Arkhangelskoye - Russian Kacheli
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    Russian Gusli (Folk Psaltery)

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Dec 31, 2007

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    You may obviously find and listen to the concert of Russian folk instruments if you visit Arkhangelskoye in week-ends. I was admired by the Gusli concert in the Gala Yard of the Great Palace.

    Gusli is a Russian folk psaltery, a kind of a harp. In Finland Gusli are called "Kantele" or "Kannel", in Estonia "Kannel", in Karelia "Kandele", in Latvia "Kokle" or "Kuokle" and in Lithuania "Kankles". The Greek historians Theofilact and Theophan were the first to mention the gusli.
    In the end of the 6th Century the Greeks took Slavonic prisoners and found a musical instrument named gusli. Ancient gusli also mentioned in the Russian chronicles (byliny). In the famous Russian folk epic "The Lay of the Host of Igor" it is played by the eleventh-century court bard Boyan.

    The Gusli was only used as accompaniment to the song and especially to the travelling scalds who used their songs to tell about the antiquity and to praise the princes and their relations.

    Arkhangelskoye - Russian psaltery
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    Russian Weddings

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Dec 31, 2007

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    Long ago, the Russian wedding ceremony was a lengthy, original, poetic and highly musical event. It was a kind of event, which could safely be called a folk theatre performance. Typically, things would get started like this Russian style wedding.

    I’ve never seen so many wedding pairs like in Arkhangelskoye Estate that week-end in Au-gust,19! I've counted more than 20 pairs with wedding corteges… That was an impressive show! I think every wedding pair imagined themselves as Jusupov’s or Golitzin’s in XIX or XVIIIth centuries…

    Arkhangelskoye - Russian Weddings Arkhangelskoye - Russian Weddings Arkhangelskoye - Russian Weddings
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    A special day

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Dec 27, 2007

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    Throughout Russia, the much-loved holiday of Feast of the Holy Trinity is celebrated in June. Houses are decorated with branches cut from birch trees , transforming them into woodland glades. The floor is strewn with cut grass and wildflowers. Celebrating in this way dates back to to ancient days as this feast day coincides with the old pagan holidays called Zeleniye Svyatki, or "Green Christmastide," which celebrated the worship of the "Spirits of Greenery." The birch tree was very important for these holidays, which explains why branches of the birch tree are still used to decorate houses and churches.

    Even non-believers will often mark this day by visiting the graves of relatives and friends, leaving food on the tombs, though this practice has nothing to do with Christianity. The tradition is to give the dead some vodka or other alcohol and something to eat with it, such as bread or candy. It is considered a good thing to find that the offerings have disappeared when you come to the cemetery again.

    Visitors to churches at this time will find, in the same tradition as in people's homes, the iconostasis is decorated with fresh young birch saplings, grass and flowers are scattered on the floor and an icon of the Holy Trinity is prominently displayed.

    Cathedral of St Ilyn the Prophet of God

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    Moscow resident having a nap in a warm spot

    by yumyum Written Jul 8, 2007

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    This dog made itself comfortable riding the metro while outside in the streets it was -18 degrees. Right he was and he even got a sausage that was lying on the floor. I squeezed myself in the little space you see there and I got big smiles and friendly approval from all around!

    Moscow doggy sleeping on the metro

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    Maslenitsa – Pancake week

    by PolinaS Written Feb 21, 2007

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    Maslenitsa is celebrated a week before Lent. Celebration is organized in most parks, squares, where you can taste pancakes cooked in different ways with different stuffing, buy souvenirs, take part in games, funny competitions. If you are lucky to be in Moscow at this time visit some celebration places and…… forget about diet! ;)

    Lenin watches over the celebration on VDNKH
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    Russia's Reuters

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 23, 2006

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    In one incarnation or another, TASS has been Russia's main source of news since 1904. The nation's biggest news-gathering agency, it was the official international voice of the USSR during the Soviet years, with access to its resources available to a only select few. Now known as ITAR-TASS, the agency makes these resources available to all and sundry, inside and outside Russia.

    The agency's headquarters are on Pl Nikitski Vorota. The windows are usually full of current news photos.

    leyle

    What's in the news?
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    Rememberance

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 23, 2006

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    The Russian people paid an enormous price for the country's victory in WW2. Millions of Russians lost their lives, civilians and military alike. Children are brought up to remember and honour this sacrifice and even today, 60 years after the war ended, newly married couples come to the memorials to leave their wedding flowers in tribute.
    Summer 2005 saw huge celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. Banners adorned Red Square, old men and women wearing chestsful of medals came to the city to take part in the celebrations and GUM's central arcade featured an exhibition of the letters and effects of ordinary servicemen and families caught up in the war.
    The ranks of that generation are thinning rapidly now, and Russia is changing. How will they mark the 70th anniversary?

    Banners in Red Square
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    Money

    by xaver Written May 6, 2006

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    If you like me, happen to arrive at the airport still with many rubles and cannot find a change office, you can use the duty free.
    Infact they accept rubles but give you the change in dollars, so if you buy just small and cheap things and any time you pay with 1000 rubles, you soon get most of your money changed.

    aeroport
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    Russian attention for human needs

    by xaver Written May 6, 2006

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    I loved the way as Moscow was full of chemical toiletts.
    Actually in most of the cities I visited public toiletts do not exist or are well hidden, so the only person that comes in your hel is Mr. McDonalds that put his Big Macs and his toiletts in every centre of every town of the world and they are always well advertised, you enter a mc donald and ask for the toilet and noone cares if you eat or not, that’s why sometime you see people yellow in face asking you to the closest Mc donald, actually they are not hungry LOL
    Anyway as russians didn’t have Mc donald for many centuries, they had to spread the city centres with these coloured free chemical toilettes which are actually very useful!

    chemical toiletts chemical toiletts
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    Flat door

    by xaver Updated May 1, 2006

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    Many old flat have a system to open the door totally original.
    You do not have the key to open the ground floor.
    You find a keyboard with ten numbers from 0 to 9 and you have o push the code in order to open the door.
    I have been told that the 3 numbers of the code must be pushed at the same time, so i got worried about my skills in the night afte some drinks, fortunatly after some attempts I found out that you just have to push the 3 numbers quikly, not at the same time.

    numbers on the door
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