Saturday, January 7, 2012

Merry Moscovian Christmas!

Merry Christmas (in Russia, anyway)!!  Today is Christmas day in Russia since they celebrate according to the Julian calendar which is 13 days later than the newer Gregorian calendar that we follow.  It's been good fun being here during this time as the country is enjoying 10 days of holiday and there are lots of Christmas stalls, lights, decor, events, etc going on.

Last night (Christmast Eve), we were in Red Square enjoying the sights and sounds when we heard choir singing from one of the smaller churches on the edge of the square.  We decided to go in and found ourselves in the midst of an amazing candlelit Russian Orthodox Christmas service.  We were on our tiptoes trying to see in to the really small center room where the service was being held (maybe 50 people max standing inside!) and a guy came by saying something in Russian pushing people out of the door and back in the entry hall.  We thought we were being ushered out but then everyone just made a uniform space in the entry hall and we realized the Bishop and priests, in their fabulous gold and cream robes, were making a processional around the church halls - swinging incense and bells and carrying large candles.  We felt so lucky to have caught this moment - it was amazing to see the Russian Orthodox celebration of Christmas.

In addition to catching this service, we also captured some fairly good photos.  Merry Moscovian Christmas!

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