25 April 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  •    - Mongolia
  •    - Russia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 04/20/2017, 15.02


    Easter celebrations in Moscow with bells, cakes and cheeses

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    Moscow’s Easter gift festival is underway from 12 to 23 April in 24 downtown squares and 19 parks. Typical products from the Russian regions include cakes, honey, cheeses . . . and bells. “If we had a little more time, Sergey Semenovich and I too would gladly take a ride on the carousel," said Kirill.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) – Moscow Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev) and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin on Monday visited Revolution Square, one of the venues of the Easter Gift Festival, across from the Bolshoi Theatre. The two also took part in the casting of a bell.

    The bell factory foundry at the Danilov Monastery is in Revolution Square. Festival visitors can see how bronze bells are cast. Each bell weighs about 16 kg, engraved with the words: "Easter gift in the Luminous Week, Moscow, Year 2017" (in the Byzantine liturgy, the Week in Albis is called luminous).

    "Thank you for visiting our Easter Gift Festival, and giving us your Blessing," the mayor told the patriarch. "This event has been on for some days with great participation of people. Products and goods from various regions of the country are presented here, from various monasteries and churches actively involved in the celebration." Moscow’s mayor explained that the Easter gift will be followed by a whole season of city festivities: Spring Festival, 1st May celebrations and Victory Day on 9 May.

    For his part, Patriarch Kirill thanked the organisers of the festival, which is associated with the main Christian solemnity. For the first time, it is held across the whole city. "People living in big cities are very scattered and divided,” the patriarch said. “Sometimes they live in the same building and don’t know each other. Not a lot unites people. Easter, Christmas and the other celebrations you organise in these wonderful spaces are of great help in bringing people together without formalities."

    The Easter Gift Festival is held from 12 to 23 April in 24 squares in central Moscow and 19 parks across the capital. More than 340 businesses applied to participate in the festival. About 143 commercial firms are operating at festival venues, including 25 that belong to different Orthodox churches, monasteries and charities, like the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius and the stauropegial monastery of Danilov.

    "There are beautiful gazebos, a lot of joyful music. One can go on amusement rides . . . If we had a little more time, Sergey Semenovich and I too would gladly take a ride on the carousel," joked the head of Russian Church.

    The festival’s main exhibits are the ten model bells of Moscow churches. In Orthodox spiritual tradition, and generally Russian folk culture, bells are one of the most beloved symbols. In Pushkin Square, at the Novopushkinsky public garden, and on Tverskoy Boulevard one can see the three-metre models of the bells of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (the Great Festive and the Sainted bells); the Ivan the Great bell tower with the Bear, Reut, Korsunsky and Nemchin (German) bells; the Assumption cathedral belfry in the Kremlin (Seven Hundredth and the Great Assumption bells), the Great Bell of Danilov Monastery, and the Alarm bell in the Armoury Chamber.

    In addition, festival participants can buy souvenirs and items from many Russian regions. Farmers from the regions of Moscow, Lipetsk, Smolensk, Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir brought milk and cheeses, showing Muscovites that it is not necessary to waste time and money on the much-vaunted Italian and French cheeses, now virtually inaccessible due to Western economic sanctions.

    Producers from Volgograd, Kursk, Tambov, Saratov, Voronezh and Moscow regions brought honey, the "sweet gold" with which Russians made their way into Europe in medieval times along the ‘Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks’, together with the wax and beekeeping products. The Kulich, a popular Easter bread, is the traditional Easter cake in Russia and comes in more than 50 varieties.

    Major Sobyanin, 60, assumed office in 2010 on the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin after he removed the once all-powerful Yury Luzhkov, who ruled the city for 20 years after the collapse of communism. Sobyanin, from the distant Asian oblast of Tyumen, is one of Putin's most trusted allies, a former head of the presidential administration who brought the spirit of national pride to capital in lieu of the frenzied westernisation of his predecessor. In the 2013 election, he was re-elected but without the desired landslide. Although he won an absolute majority, his main rival, blogger Alexei Navalny, put up a good fight. With more than 25 per cent of the vote, the latter is the most popular "not aligned" Russian politician.

    In recent weeks, the big Easter Festival got more money as a result of protests against the corruption of the prime minister and members of his cabinet, which led to Navalny’s arrest, as well as the St Petersburg Metro terror attack, and international tensions contributed. Top government officials with strong backing from the Church hierarchy want to turn spring festivals into a great opportunity for national pacification, and a show of “soft power” against anti-Russian feelings in the West and among Muslim radicals.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    15/06/2004 china
    An ancient church becomes home to two Protestant communities.

    01/08/2005 IRAQ
    In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion

    21/07/2005 CHINA
    Shanghai church draws Korean pilgrims
    Church building was torn down and rebuilt as part of Pudong district's redevelopment plans. Koreans visit the site to see relic of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean martyr.

    14/07/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
    Cardinal Zen: The Church in China two years after the Pope's Letter
    Misinterpretations of the Letter have led to confusion and distress in the underground community. The official bishops must have more courage in their faithfulness to the pope, refusing structures that are contrary to the Catholic faith. The Chinese government continues its usual policy: total control of the Church.

    02/11/2010 CHINA
    New bishop of Nanchang (Jiangxi) ordained, underground Catholics also present
    The new bishop, Mgr. John Baptist Li Suguang, tells AsiaNews of his desire to work for unity between the two communities, underground and official living in the diocese. So far this year, nine bishops have been ordained in China.

    Editor's choices

    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.

    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®