Happy Valentine’s Day (now that it is no longer forbidden!)

In Russia Valentine's Day (День Свято́го Валенти́на - Day of Saint Valentine) is a popular celebration, in spite of being relatively recent, or maybe because it is relatively recent. Let me explain. As a rule, the concepts of Saint Valentine and Cupid only arrived in Eastern Europe and Asia in the last two decades. That was particularly... Continue Reading →


The Tsars’ family tree

In Russia it is often the case that the museums themselves (meaning the buildings where they are housed) are as beautiful and as interesting, if not more, than the artwork they display. One of such examples is, I think, the State Historical Museum of Russia in Moscow. Housed in one of Russia's most recognisable structures, wedged... Continue Reading →

The shortest February in history

The month of February usually has 28 days. Sometimes 29. How often it has 29 is the difference between the (old) Julian calendar and the (new) Gregorian calendar. The term "new" associated with the Gregorian calendar might seem strange, as Pope Gregory XIII introduced his namesake calendar as early as 1582. The adoption of the... Continue Reading →

Even though today is not Christmas….

... Merry Christmas to all the people who are celebrating today! Here in Russia the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas, of course, on December 25th, but (yes, there is a but, hence the title of the post!) December 25th on Julius Cesar's calendar, not this new (1582) Gregorian calendar... Between the two there is currently a... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑