Autumn Welcoming – Traditional Celebration of Russian Peasants

The Autumn Welcoming is a holiday of the Eastern Slavic calendar correlated to the Orthodox feast of the Birth of Virgin Mary – 21 September (8 September O.S.). That was the holiday of harvest and guest visits, when the grain and orchards crops have been reaped and it is finally time to see the autumn in. At this holiday people honoured the Holy Virgin thanking her for the harvest gathered.
Though the ‘Autumn Welcoming’ always referred to one holiday, we took it as the title for our exhibition focusing on a wider period – a series of folk autumn holidays that started from St. Eliah’s Day (2 August N.S./20 July O.S.) and finished with the day of St. Philip the Apostle (27 November/14 November respectively).

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To get down to any job, our ancestors would address the saints whose fetes were celebrated in this period either in a church service or in private prayers. So gradually, the God pleasers became in people’s minds patrons of this or that agricultural job and received purely folk epithets such as Simeon Seeing-the Summer-Off (St. Simeon Stylites), Stephen the Haymaker (Protomartyr Stephen, a deacon of Jerusalem), Eustignius the Wheat-Gatherer (St. Eustignius from Antioch), Natalia the Oat Gatherer (St. Natalia of Nicomedia). The church calendar and people’s everyday life thus merged thoroughly to form the integral Russian culture.

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Our main goal is to combine the everyday routine and the holiday in one display showing the life of Russian peasants in all its colours. At the exhibition you will see icons, church service books, agricultural tools (sickles, thrashels, rakes, and choppers), a weaving loom, distaffs, dishware, and dress. Each hall presents a separate topic: harvesting, woman’s work, home celebrations. The display is accompanied with folk songs that used to help our fathers in work and made the soul rejoice at holidays.
On the museum territory you can visit an entire Ethnographic Centre that reveals different sides of folk life and includes a Smith’s Yard with a working smithy, a Kolomenskoye Peasant’s Farmhouse and a working Water Mill. To get to the Centre, you may take the museum electric cart tour 2 (it runs from the Palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich to the Saviour Gate) and then take a 10-minute walk. Otherwise, you can walk there from Kolomenskaya metro station.

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday – 10 a.m. till 6 p.m., closed on Mondays.
Tickets are available at ticket offices (opening hours: 10 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.) on the territory of the museum and on http://www.mgomz.ru

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