St. Valentine’s Day in Russia

Soon we will celebrate the most romantic holiday  in the year – St. Valentine’s day . This is a quite new holiday to us – came to Russia early 1990. Even it’s not official holiday people do love the idea of this nice holiday. At school children exchange valentines or make special box where you can put the secret love letter, and hold the special parties and events. Night clubs or restaurants organize special program and menu to make this very day as more romantic as possible.

If you are fallen in love you Valentnine’s Day is the great opportunity to open your feelings, to share them. As for present usually people in Russia give flowers (red or pink rose), choсolate  or jewelry and go the restaurant. The other option  is to spend time at the hotel since every hotel (for exapmle, in Moscow or in St. Petersburg) offer a special program which might be including accommodation, dinner, SPA etc.

But St. Valentine’s Day is not only romantic holiday in Russia.  On July, 08 we have the day of St. Peter and St. Fevronia as known as the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness.

The story of Duke Peter and peasant woman Fevronia goes back us to the 16th Century. After the battle with the snake Duke Peter was infected with the snake’s venom and only country maid Fevronia was able to heal him. They fell in love and got married. But local arictocrtas were dissatisfied with idea of new peasant Duchess . They offered Fevronia any jewelries or riches she  could probably want to have in return to leave the city and never come back. But for Fevronia the only wealth was her husband, Duke Peter, and she took him.  After the couple left Murom town where they lived went out of order and aristocrats asked Duke and Duchess to return and they agreed.

Their last days were in separate monasteries. They prayed to die on the same day and to be buried in the same grave. But as on Russian Orthodox Church rules they coudn’t be buried in the same grave since they were a monk and a nun and therefore they were buried separately. A day after their bodies were dissapered and to everyone’s surpise found in one coffin. It was happened several times and,finally, Orthodox Church agreed to bury them in the same grave where they are still.

Since 2008, this day is marked as the official holiday in Russia and celebrated as a day of family and gladness in marriage.