Author Topic: Annual event in Ekaterinburg?  (Read 3457 times)

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Offline Sarastasia

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Annual event in Ekaterinburg?
« on: August 25, 2007, 11:29:08 AM »
While I was on holiday, I saw an article on BBC World about the Russian Orthodox Church and politics in Russia and they showed a big event in Ekaterinburg in front of the Church on the Blood in memory of the execution of the Imperial Family. I think it was running from about 12th - 25th July...

Anybody have any info on it? A website or photos prehaps? Will it be happening next year too for the 90th ann.??

Sara

Offline helenrappaport

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RTsarskie Dni in Ekaterinburg - I was there
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 11:12:24 AM »
Sarastasia - I was in Ekaterinburg for most of the period of the commemoration events  - known as the Tsarskie Dni (Tsar's Days) Im not sure how long they have been holding this - certainly the last three or four years.  It is definitely now an annual event and the RO Church publishes a list of events for that period in the local paper and possibly on the web too.  Most notable and most moving of all was the Vsenochnoe Bdenie (all-night vigil) of the night of 16th-17th July. The Church of the Blood was absolutely filled to overflowing with pilgrims and the faithful from all over Russia - with people crowding down the steps and out onto the grass outside. All the toop RO dignitaries were there and it was broadcast outside on loudspeakers and large screens.  Some of the pilgrims had been walking for up to two weeks to get there. They lay everywhere, exhuasted and grubby, trying to catch up on lost sleep before heading off on the Krestnyi Khod at the end of the service - the pilgrimage out to Ganina Yama.  How they managed it I do not know.  The vigil lasted best part of four hours - all standing of course - followed by the 5-6 hour walk out to GY and then another long liturgy when they got there.  Extraordinary faith and commitment. It was very very moving.  The old, the young, even babies in pushchairs went along.  they say that about 20,000 people went on the pilgrimage and that the line of people stretched for about 5 kilometres.  I just couldn't get an accurate number - every source varied. 

But having said this I am seriously worried that it will become very rapidly now a victim of its own success.  There are absolutely ZILCH facilities at the Church on the Blood for such a massive influx of people - tired, dirty, hungry, exhausted, in need of rest rooms and places to change and wash.  Imagine it - all they had laid on the purpose were TWO portacabin loos - for all those thousands of people - many of them elderly.  A couple of small service points for essentials of food and drink, but no washing facilities whatsoever!.  If it gets exponentially bigger with each yeasr, as I am absolutely sure it will, it will soon we out of control.  I couldn't go on the pilgrimage but wondered what back up there was for the people in terms of first aid etc.....   

I could go on, but most of this will be going in my book so I'm afraid I have to save it for now.

Offline Raegan

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Re: RTsarskie Dni in Ekaterinburg - I was there
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 01:47:08 PM »
Sarastasia - I was in Ekaterinburg for most of the period of the commemoration events  - known as the Tsarskie Dni (Tsar's Days) Im not sure how long they have been holding this - certainly the last three or four years.  It is definitely now an annual event and the RO Church publishes a list of events for that period in the local paper and possibly on the web too.  Most notable and most moving of all was the Vsenochnoe Bdenie (all-night vigil) of the night of 16th-17th July. The Church of the Blood was absolutely filled to overflowing with pilgrims and the faithful from all over Russia - with people crowding down the steps and out onto the grass outside. All the toop RO dignitaries were there and it was broadcast outside on loudspeakers and large screens.  Some of the pilgrims had been walking for up to two weeks to get there. They lay everywhere, exhuasted and grubby, trying to catch up on lost sleep before heading off on the Krestnyi Khod at the end of the service - the pilgrimage out to Ganina Yama.  How they managed it I do not know.  The vigil lasted best part of four hours - all standing of course - followed by the 5-6 hour walk out to GY and then another long liturgy when they got there.  Extraordinary faith and commitment. It was very very moving.  The old, the young, even babies in pushchairs went along.  they say that about 20,000 people went on the pilgrimage and that the line of people stretched for about 5 kilometres.  I just couldn't get an accurate number - every source varied. 

But having said this I am seriously worried that it will become very rapidly now a victim of its own success.  There are absolutely ZILCH facilities at the Church on the Blood for such a massive influx of people - tired, dirty, hungry, exhausted, in need of rest rooms and places to change and wash.  Imagine it - all they had laid on the purpose were TWO portacabin loos - for all those thousands of people - many of them elderly.  A couple of small service points for essentials of food and drink, but no washing facilities whatsoever!.  If it gets exponentially bigger with each yeasr, as I am absolutely sure it will, it will soon we out of control.  I couldn't go on the pilgrimage but wondered what back up there was for the people in terms of first aid etc.....   

I could go on, but most of this will be going in my book so I'm afraid I have to save it for now.


I appreciate you sharing your experience with us and I look forward to hearing more about it sometime.

Offline Sarastasia

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Re: RTsarskie Dni in Ekaterinburg - I was there
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 08:38:35 AM »
Sarastasia - I was in Ekaterinburg for most of the period of the commemoration events  - known as the Tsarskie Dni (Tsar's Days) Im not sure how long they have been holding this - certainly the last three or four years.  It is definitely now an annual event and the RO Church publishes a list of events for that period in the local paper and possibly on the web too.  Most notable and most moving of all was the Vsenochnoe Bdenie (all-night vigil) of the night of 16th-17th July. The Church of the Blood was absolutely filled to overflowing with pilgrims and the faithful from all over Russia - with people crowding down the steps and out onto the grass outside. All the toop RO dignitaries were there and it was broadcast outside on loudspeakers and large screens.  Some of the pilgrims had been walking for up to two weeks to get there. They lay everywhere, exhuasted and grubby, trying to catch up on lost sleep before heading off on the Krestnyi Khod at the end of the service - the pilgrimage out to Ganina Yama.  How they managed it I do not know.  The vigil lasted best part of four hours - all standing of course - followed by the 5-6 hour walk out to GY and then another long liturgy when they got there.  Extraordinary faith and commitment. It was very very moving.  The old, the young, even babies in pushchairs went along.  they say that about 20,000 people went on the pilgrimage and that the line of people stretched for about 5 kilometres.  I just couldn't get an accurate number - every source varied. 

But having said this I am seriously worried that it will become very rapidly now a victim of its own success.  There are absolutely ZILCH facilities at the Church on the Blood for such a massive influx of people - tired, dirty, hungry, exhausted, in need of rest rooms and places to change and wash.  Imagine it - all they had laid on the purpose were TWO portacabin loos - for all those thousands of people - many of them elderly.  A couple of small service points for essentials of food and drink, but no washing facilities whatsoever!.  If it gets exponentially bigger with each yeasr, as I am absolutely sure it will, it will soon we out of control.  I couldn't go on the pilgrimage but wondered what back up there was for the people in terms of first aid etc.....   

I could go on, but most of this will be going in my book so I'm afraid I have to save it for now.


Thank you so much for the info, helenrappaport!!! I know you don't want to divulge too much, but could you please give me some of the basic details like dates.

Also, do they have a decent sized English/German speaking crowd come? It's just that I'm planning to go over there next July (90th ann and all) and toying with the idea of working over there for the summer.

Cheers
Sara

Offline helenrappaport

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Re: Programme of Tsar's Days in Ekaterinburg
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2007, 02:11:09 PM »
Sara

I have the full programme of the Tsar's Days for 13-22 July this year in Russian and you can certainly take it as read that this will be pretty much the template for future years in terms of the dates and events.  Here's a resume:

Photographic exhibition of large size pictures of Romanov family on display around the Church on the Blood from day one throughout
Various films and lectures in the basement lecture room of the Church throughout - though all in Russian.
Russian Orthodox Church meetings and events in the Church throughout - again all in Russian
Bell-ringing, RO choirs and various musical performances on a temporary platform outside the Church
Procession through the city with sacred icons (14 July)
Prayers and services also at the Svyato-Troitsky Sobor in Ekaterinburg during the period
All night vigil at the Svyato Triotsky (14 July)
Concert of RO music at the monastery at Ganina Yama (15 July)
Procession to commemorate arrival of the family in the city:  from Shartash (the railway point, now long since destroyed) where Tsar and Tsaritsa first arrived, to Church on the Blood (16 July)
NIGHT OF 16/17 JULY -  all night vigil at the Church on the Blood. NB: very crowded, NO toilet facilities, take warm things, food thermos flasks, cushions to sit on etc.
EARLY MORNING OF 17 JULY Pilgrimage from the Church on the Blood out to Ganina Yama - about 12 kilometers I think but bear in mind no rest or toilet facilities and probably minimal first aid back up.  On arrival at Ganina Yama there is a liturgy at 8 a.m. Bear in mind huge crowds all then trying to get on buses (don't know how many are laid on) back to town etc. Minimal toilet and food facilities. Ganina Yama has a good tourist shop and guides available who speak English.

6 am 17 July liturgy in the 'Execution Chamber' - a recreation of the room in the which the Romanovs were killed - located in basement of the Church on the Blood. NB this is NOT a full reconstruction merely a recreation of the space, with a cross. No decoration.

17 July - big concert of sacred music at Ganina Yama. That evening another all night vigil is held here.
18 July - commemorative events similar to these take place at Alapaevsk.

Re English/German visitors - I noticed very very few tourists when I was in Ekaterinburg - mainly internal Russian ones.  A few Germans possibly but I didn't meet a single English person.  You need to speak Russian or have a Russian speaker in your group - far fewer people in Ekaterinburg speak English than in the big cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.

I do hope this helps.  MY advice re Ganina Yama is to ensure you have a driver and interpreter.  Going on the pilgrimage could be a nightmare if you get stuck out there tired, exhuasted and hungry with no easy means of getting back into town. Also it is not a very big place so how on earth that many thousands crammed in there I cannot imagine.    Enjoy the trip.  It's an extraordinary city, but don't look for the real story at the Church on the Blood or at Ganina Yama. It's out there - but you need to find it in the hearts and minds of the ordinary people.



Offline Tania+

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Re: Annual event in Ekaterinburg?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 10:52:31 AM »
As a child and in my teens, I had heard stories from my father and other early exiles of the faithful making pilgrimages for various church affiliated special religious days. The scene you describe are as it was almost in those days, minus the difficulties in transportation they had then. It seems from what you have described that Russia and the Russian people of the Orthodox faith are very set in their minds to keep alive the memory of the Imperial Family members, etc. I have heard from others who have visited this site, and they say that it was also very moving for them as well. The Russian Orthodox Church I believe is fully involved in commeration services in and at various historical sites in Russia.

Thanks again for your report. If anyone should go to these commeration processions, etc., is it possible to take pictures and send the to our site.

Tatiana+
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