In the end of February Russians celebrated „Maslenitsa“, a bright festival. Of course I went to the central square of our town to take some pictures and voilà: here they are! A bit late, I know. Anyway, I added some interesting, historical facts for you 🙂
Maslenitsa is a pagan folkfestival in Russia. It is celebrated in February in the last week before the great Lent. The whole name of the festival is „Широкая Масленица“, what means „wide butterweek“. Wide – because it is celebrated in all Russian communities and very popular.
The last day of Maslenitsa – Sunday – is called „Day of Forgiveness“. People ask each others forgiveness and believing people go to church for the shrift.
One of the symbols of Maslenitsa is „Maslenitsa“ or „doll“ (кукла) – a selfmade doll like on the picture.
Some of these dolls are kind of scary… 😀 Fortunately they are burned in the evening!
Another symbol are round, golden pancakes. They symbolise the sun and the end of winter. Usually they´re eaten with different kinds of fillings, for example jam, eggs or caviar.
Because the Orthodox Church forbidds to eat meat, butter, milk and so on during the time of Lent, people eat a lot of this on the days of Maslenitsa. Traditional russian is „shashlik“, a kind of roasted meat, what was also sold in my town on the central square. Of course I had to try it!
Maslenitsa is a very cheerful holiday with big parades and markets in towns like Moscow or St. Petersburg, but also in my town we had some attractions in the center.
For example a stage program with Russian folkmusic and…
… dancing groups.
Or a competition for young men, who had to climb up the trunk to get some gifts, which hung there.
But what´s the best about Maslenitsa: it means the end of winter! Sun and warm temperatures are coming back to Russia finally and that´s a real reason to celebrate!
It feels so unreal that already the half of my exchange year has been passed – 5 incredible, unforgettable months. As I am realizing more and more everyday this time has changed me already and will change me further. Words like home, family and loneliness got another dimension, another meaning for me. Now, so far away from my family and my home, I feel more closely connected with them than ever before and at the same time it becomes clear, that I has been becoming an independent, strong girl and I don´t need their active help anymore. And loneliness, well, I should say, that sometimes I had this feeling also in Germany and it isn´t only connected with the place where you are or the people you are surrounded by. It is nothing physically and you feel much better if you try not to isolate yourself from others but to overcome the differences. But that´s another topic. Weiterlesen
From the 1.-5. of November I was in Sochi with many other exchange students and russian guys. It was amazing, but I am too lazy to write about it, so here are only some photos and a short video for you… I am sorry. But if you want to know what we did, you can read a detailed report about our trip on Emma´s blog here. She´s an exchange student in Russia, too 🙂 (But you need to scroll down to find the english text)
What Wikipedia says: „Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia. The Greater Sochi area, which includes territories and localities subordinated to Sochi proper, has a total area of 3,526 square kilometers (1,361 sq mi) and sprawls for 145 kilometers (90 mi) along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains.“
What I say about Sochi: „Sochi is a very beautiful…
… super modern …
… global …
… rich and expensive …
… touristic …
… olympic …
… city and completely reconditioned, to make it more attractive for tourists with big money.“
Usually it is pretty warm in Sochi even in November, but when we were there the temperatures were about 8°C…
But who cares about the weather!?!
We did a hiking-tour and discovered the beautiful mountains of the north-west caucasus
Thank you, Jacob, for the pictures 😉
According to one form of the greek legend, Prometheus was chained to this mountain.
Krasnaya Polyana is an urban-type settlement (Siedlung städtischen Typs) in the mountains, about 40km far from Sochi. It is an exclusive ski resort. Here and in Rosa Chutor the snow sports competitions took place during the Winter Olympic Games 2014.
And of course we visited the Olympic Park… an impressive experience
Who wants to take a picture with the Olympic rings, if you can take one with the symbol of the Paralympics!?!
I think all of us could find their national flag 🙂
In conclusion I am glad to say that I had some amazing days!
Autumn is already over here, snow started to fall…
And I was already happy! / Und ich war damit schon ziemlich zufrieden 🙂
Last friday I was in Vladimir and Susdal, very old and historical towns not far away from mine.
Click on the first picture to start the gallery 🙂
Main cathedral of Vladimir
Square in the center of Vladimir
If I understood the russian speaking teacher right, the yellow building was the house of the priest and his family
Very old church from…
… the 12th Century
The host mum of Marianna (my friend from Italy) invited me to attend the trip (thank you!). Here you can see me, Marianna, her host mum and Tanutcha from Thailand