Photo of the Day for July 31, 2013

July 30, 2013 7:00 pm

Feast of the Resurrection, Al’homjel’ 2013.  Сьвята Уваскрашэньня, Альгомель 2013 год.

Alhomjel’ is one of several villages in the eastern part of Polesia’s Stolin District which, to accommodate renewed parish growth after the fall of the Soviet regime, have built and use new churches, while preserving their historic wooden churches.  In Al’homjel’s case the historic church (1817) is dedicated to the Resurrection, and the parish celebrates Easter for three days, culminating in a special Resurrection liturgy on Easter Tuesday.

Photo of the Day for July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013 7:00 pm

Clouds Reflected in Stream, Rubjazhevichy 2013.  Адлюстраваныя хмары, Рубяжэвічы 2013 год.

Photos of the Day for July 29, 2013

July 28, 2013 7:00 pm

Dzjanis Ramanjuk — Photographer, Ethnographer, Graphic Designer, Artist, Publisher.  Дзяніс Раманюк — фатограф, этнограф, дызайнер, мастак, выдавец.

It was my great privilege to accompany Dzjanis Ramanjuk on expeditions in 2001 and 2006 to photograph rare (and in two cases now extinct) Belarusian rites and traditions.  Dzjanis has continued to inspire me and many others with his photography and his photo albums.  In spring 2013 he released his latest photo album, “Blue-Eyed Belarus” (“Беларусь сінявокая“), a splendid, fresh look at Belarusian landscapes and people.   See his web site:  A bow and great thanks to Dzjanis Ramanjuk.

У 2001 і 2006 гадах мне пашанцавала паехаць з Дзянісам Раманюком у фотаэкспедыцыю і паспець сфатаграфаваць абрады, сведкам якіх цяпер, праз гады, наўрад ці магчыма стаць. З нашых размоў я пачаў разумець, што значыць быць беларусам.  Яго новая кніга “Беларусь сінявокая“ ня толькі майстарскі, зусім арыгінальны фатаграфічны падаход да Бацькаўшчыны, а таксама вялікае натхненьне для іншых фатографаў.  Далей у  Паклон і падзяка спадару Дзянісу.

Dzjanis Ramanjuk in his studio, Mjensk, May 2013.  Дзяніс Раманюк у майстэрні, Менск, травень 2013 г.

National Arts Museum Director and Dzjanis Ramanjuk at the presentation of Dzjanis’ new photo album “Blue-Eyed Belarus”, Museum Night, Mjensk 2013.  Дырэктар Нацыянальнаша мастацкага музея з Дзянісам Раманюкам пры прэзэнтацыі новай кнігі “Беларусь сінявокая“, Ноч музеяў, Менск 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for July 28, 2013

July 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Churches of Belarus (part XXXVIII):  Orthodox Church of the Mother of God of Kazan (1913), Davyd-Haradok 2013.  Цэрквы Беларусі (частка XXXVIII):  царква Маці Божай Казанскай (1913), Давыд-Гарадок 2013 год.

The pale color of the roof and paint make the church of the Mother of God of Kazan in Davyd-Haradok float as in a mirage.

Photos of the Day for July 27, 2013

July 26, 2013 7:00 pm

Ringing the bells, Orthodox church of the Mother of God of Kazan, Davyd-Haradok 2013.  Гук царкоўных званоў, царква Маці Божай Казанскай, Давыд-Гарадок 2013 год.

The principal bell-ringer controls the simultaneous ringing of the three small bells with his right hand.  With his left hand he hits the separate pads controlling the three medium-size bells.  The second ringer controls the main bell.

Although Orthodox churches do not ring the changes as in, say, the Anglican tradition, Othodox bell-ringing has a fast-paced rhythm.  At a distance the sound is lighter than that of Western Christian bells, but piercingly loud when one stands in the bell tower:

Photo of the Day for July 26, 2013

July 25, 2013 7:00 pm

Feast of St. George, Davyd-Haradok 2013.  Сьвята Юр’я, Давыд-Гарадок 2013 год.

Listening to Father Ryhor’s sermon.  Пры пропаведзі айца Рыгора.

Photo of the Day for July 25, 2013

July 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Children’s Communion, Feast of St. George (Jur’je – Юр’е), Davyd-Haradok 2013.  Дзіцячае прычасьце, сьвята Юр’я ў Давыд-Гарадку 2013 г.

Photos of the Day for July 24, 2013

July 23, 2013 7:00 pm

Orthodox St. George’s Day (May 6).  Юр’е/Юр’я (6 траўня).

In the heat of the dog days of summer, one thinks back to the splendid weather of early spring.

Orthodox St. George’s Day (May 6, equivalent to April 23 in the old church calendar) coincides with the day Belarusians traditionally — from pre-Christian times — considered the beginning of spring.  This was the day when villagers would lead their cows out in ceremonial procession to first pasture and would sing songs in a rye-field rite of spring linked to worship of the Slavic god Jaryla.

As the Orthodox church absorbed and adapted such rites, St. George took Jaryla’s place as the protector of farm animals and fields.  Today, under the impact of decades of collectivized agriculture, it is exceptionally difficult to find villages which celebrate the day in a traditional, unstaged way (see photos of the day for May 6, 2011 and May 6-7, 2010).  However, the church feast remains important, especially in parishes named for St. George.

The late 17th-century parish church of St. George the Victor in Davyd Haradok (photo of the day for May 6, 2013) is the town’s traditional venue for the feast-day liturgy.  In 2013, for various reasons Father Ryhor shifted the celebration of the liturgy to the main church.

Church feasts are always feasts of light — the light of candles and chandeliers and, in spring and summer, the radiant, often dancing light of the sun:

St. George’s Day, church of the Mother of God of Kazan, Davyd Haradok 2013.  Сьвята Юр’я, царква Маці Божай Казанскай, Давыд Гарадок 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013 7:00 pm

Tsjerablichy 2013.  Цераблічы 2013 год.

This scene of fishing waders hung up to dry reminded me of Nick Park’s splendid animated short of Wallace and Gromit in “The Wrong Trousers”.

Photo of the Day for July 22, 2013

July 21, 2013 7:00 pm

Two Kids.   Дзве козачкі.

Tsjerablichy 2013.  Цераблічы 2013 год.