Photos of the Day for April 2, 2015

To commemorate Holy Thursday:  Mass of the Chrism, Vitsjebsk 2007.  З нагоды Вялікага чацьвергу:  Сьвятая Імша Хрызма, Віцебск 2007 г.

Bishops of the Roman Catholic church consecrate holy oil (chrism) in a mass attended by the presbyterium of the diocese, usually on Holy Thursday.

Uladzislau Blin, then-bishop of the diocese of Vitsjebsk, consecrates the chrism for his diocese (in 2007 Bishop Blin held the mass on Holy Wednesday).

Priests of the diocese renew their vows.

Diocesan priests and nuns attended.

Photos of the Day for April 1, 2015

Photo Expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (VII/IX).  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўшчыне 2015 г. (VII/IX).

Churches of Belarus (part XCII):  Roman Catholic church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dzjeraunaja 2015.  Completed in 1630 (bell-tower later XVIIth-century), this church is one of the best examples of fortress-type church architecture to have survived in Belarus.

Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка ХСІІ):  касьцёл Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі (1630 і другая палова XVII ст.), Дзераўная 2015 г.

Photos of the Day for March 31, 2015

Photo Expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (VI/IX).  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўшчыне 2015 г. (VI/IX).

Churches of Belarus (part XCI):  ruins of Orthodox (built as Greek Catholic) cemetery chapel of 1777, Najdzjonavichy 2015.  See photo of the day for March 19, 2015 for similar example of neglected and disappearing national patrimony.

Цэрквы Беларусі (частка ХСІ):  руіны праваслаўнай (пабудаванай як грэка-каталіцкай) капліцы 1777 года, Найдзёнавічы 2015 г.  Гл. таксама фатаграфію дня 19 сакавіка 2015 г. для падобнага прыкладу занядбанай і знікаючай нацыянальнай спадчыны.

Photo of the Day for March 30, 2015

Photo Expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (part V/IX).  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўшчыне 2015 г. (частка V/IX).

Belarusian homesteads (part VIII).    Беларускі хутар (частка VIII).

Western Belarus is an area still heavily dotted with homesteads (khutar – хутар).  Homesteads were created during the land reform of 1923-26 while these lands were part of the interwar Polish Republic.  Remarkably some of these homesteads have survived the continuing oppressive legacy of Soviet collectivization, under which the Soviet authorities forced smallholders into collective farms.

A khutar embodies the common Belarusian’s yearning to be self-sufficient and left alone to work his own land, no matter how small his holding is.

See also photos for February 17, 2014 and March 8-11, 2013.  Гл. таксама фотаздымкі 17 лютага 2014 г. і 8-11 сакавіка 2013 г.

Photos of the Day for March 29, 2015

Photo Expedition to Stoubtsy District (IV/IX):  Rubjazhevichy 2015.  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўшчыне (IV/IX):  Рубяжэвічы 2015 г.

Historic house covered in plastic siding.  House owners face high maintenance and restoration costs.  There is also a lack of master restorers in Belarus.  One thus understands that some owners of historic buildings decide to use modern materials.  However, it is regrettable that, as a result, fine examples of Belarus’s architectural patrimony, whether or not on the official register of protected buildings, lose their character.

Старая хата пакрытая вінілавым сайдінгам.

On the other hand, Rubjazhevichy is blessed with a fine early 20th-century church, well maintained by an active parish.

Roman Catholic church of St. Joseph (1907-1911).  Касьцёл Сьвятога Юзафа (1907-1911).

Photos of the Day for March 28, 2015

Photo expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (III/IX).  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўшчыне 2015 г. (ІІІ/ІХ).

Churches of Belarus (part XC):  Orthodox church of St. George, Slabodka 2015. This is an outstanding and rare example of Belarusian late 19th-century wooden churches in a proto-Art Nouveau style.

Цэрквы Беларусі (частка ХС):  царква Сьвятога Георгія, Слабодка 2015 г.  Гэтая царква цудоўным прыкладам беларускіх драўляных цэркваў познага 19-га стагоддзя.

Photos of the Day for March 27, 2015

Photo expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (II/IX):  Rochavichy.  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўскім раёне 2015 г. (ІІ/ІХ):  Рочавічы.

Churches of Belarus (part LXXXIX):  Roman Catholic church of the Mother of God of Czestochowa, Rochavichy.  This church exemplifies how the Roman Catholic church in Belarus has worked steadily and nobly to rebuild parishes shattered under the Soviet system and to found new parishes.  Passing by as I was photographing the church, Mrs. Zosja kindly offered to fetch the key and open the church.

Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка LXXXIX):  касьцёл Маці Божай Чэнстахоўскай, Рочавічы.  Пашансавала мне, што спадарыня Зося, якая трымае ключ, прайшла й запрасіла мяне да касьцёла.

Mrs. Zosja.  Спадарыня Зося.

Copy of the icon of the Mother of God of Czestochowa.  Копія абразу Маці Божай Чэнстахоўскай.

The holy water had frozen.  Сьвятая вада замерзла.

Photos of the Day for March 26, 2015

Photo Expedition to Stoubtsy District 2015 (I/IX):  ethnotoponyms.  Фотавандроўка па Стаўбцоўскім раёне 2015 г. (I/IX):  этнатапонімы.

Like Baranavichy and Ljakhavichy Districts (see photos for June 23-July 5, 2014) northeastern Stoubtsy District, 60-90 kilometers southwest of Mjensk, has a noteworthy intersection of ethnotoponyms — place-names reflecting the ethnic origin of their inhabitants.

Hudzjali (Гудзялі) has as its root an old Baltic (Lithuanian) word for Belarusian.  The name suggests that the village’s inhabitants were Slavs (early Belarusians) surrounded by Baltic (Lithuanian) villages.  There is a whole series of villages with the Hud- root farther north, especially closer to the border with modern Lithuania.

Гудзялі.

Litva (Літва) lies six kilometers to the southwest of Hudzjali.  Its name, shared exactly or closely by more than two dozen other villages in Belarus, can be both a toponym, referring to an extended area, and an ethnotoponym referring to the ethnic character of a specific settlement.  Here the name suggests that the village was settled by a Baltic or Baltic-speaking group in an area of predominantly Slavic (Belarusian) villages.

Літва.

Tatarshchyna (Татаршчына) lies about 20 kilometers south of Litva.  Its name suggests that the village was settled by Tatars.  There are many villages with similar names in Belarus; a cluster of five villages with names suggesting settlement by Tatars or other Turkic groups extends across an area 45-75 kilometers farther north from here, roughly along the same 27th meridian.

Татаршчына.

Photo of the Day for March 25, 2015

Photo expedition to Daniljevichy (VI/VI).  Фотавандроўка ў Данілевічы (VI/VI).

Crosses of Belarus (part XXIII).  Крыжы Беларусі (частка ХХІІІ).

In villages of eastern Polesia (Homjel’ Region) it is a syncretic Christian/pre-Christian tradition to dress crosses as women to protect the village against disease.  See also the photo of the day for March 20, 2015.

Photo of the Day for March 24, 2015

Photo expedition to Daniljevichy (V/VI).  Фотавандроўка ў Данілевічы ((V/VI).

Mrs. Aljena Karas by her painted gate, Daniljevichy 2015.  Спадарыня Алена ля брамы, Данілевічы 2015 г.

Painted gates are a tradition in parts of Belarusian Polesia and in Ukraine.