Photo of the Day for April 30, 2014

April 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Bachelor storks, Tsjerablichy 2013.  Буслы-халасьцякі, Цераблічы 2013 год.

Lingering unseasonably cold weather in March 2013 delayed the arrival of storks in Belarus.  The delay caused many storks which would normally have returned to the north of the country to nest instead to halt their migration in Polesia.  As a result many storks were unable to find mates or nests, and they spent the 2013 season mateless in the fields and woods.

Photos of the Day for April 29, 2014

April 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Radaunitsa (homage to forefathers and other deceased relatives), Azdamichy 2013.  Радаўніца, Аздамічы 2013 год.

There are as many as 11 dates during the cycle of the year when Belarusians formally honor their ancestors and other deceased members of their families.  Radaunitsa, which traditionally falls on the Tuesday nine days after Orthodox Easter, is one of the two or three most important such rites.  Families carefully clean the graves of their forebears’ and other, more recently deceased relatives and have them blessed by the parish priest.  Preceding the grave-side blessing, a commemorative liturgy for the deceased takes place in the parish church or, where it exists, cemetery chapel.

In Azdamichy’s cemetery chapel Father Aljaksandr thrice reads through, and blesses, the names of the deceased that parishioners have presented on hand-written lists.

Blessing of graves, Azdamichy cemetery.

Photo of the Day for April 28, 2014

April 27, 2014 7:00 pm

Radaunitsa (blessing the graves of forebears or other family members), old cemetery, Tsjerablichy 2013.  One of the two or three most important commemoration rites in the Belarusian cycle of the year, Radaunitsa traditionally falls on the Tuesday nine days after Orthodox Easter, but Tsjerablichy observes the rite on the preceding day.

Радаўніца, старыя могілкі, Цераблічы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for April 27, 2014

April 26, 2014 7:00 pm

Small-holder farming in Belarus:  planting potatoes, Tsjerablichy 2013.  Сямейнае фермерства на Палесьсі:  пасадка бульбы, Цераблічы 2013 год.

The potato is a fundamental part of the Belarusian diet.  In late April-early May extended families gather to plant their annual crop of potatoes on the small plots surrounding their houses or, as here, on the small acreage allotted arbitrarily by the local village council/collective farm.

Photo of the Day for April 26, 2014

April 25, 2014 7:00 pm

Spring Landscapes of the Pripet Marshes: Vjeljamichy 2013.  Веснавыя ландшафты Сярэдняй Прыпяці:  Велямічы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for April 25, 2014

April 24, 2014 7:00 pm

Spring flood, Vjeras’nitsa 2013.  Last year brought exceptional numbers of storks to the central Pripet (Prypjats’ – Прыпяць) area.  The prolonged spring flood obligingly created the conditions for a bumper number of tasty frogs.

Палеская паводка, Верасьніца 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for April 24, 2014

April 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Spring flood in Polesia: River Moustva (Mastva), Tsjerablichy 2013.  The spring flood remains vital to the health of the Pripet Marshes, Europe’s most extensive wetlands, which have been heavily affected by “amelioration” campaigns (draining of wetlands and construction of dykes) starting in the 1960s and continuing today.

Палеская паводка:  рака Моўства (Маства), Цераблічы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for April 23, 2014

April 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Annual spring flood in the Pripet River (Prypjats’ – Прыпяць) basin of Polesia:  River Moustva (Mastva), Tsjerablichy 2013.  The extent of spring flooding depends mostly on the amount of winter rain and snowfall.  The spring 2013 flood was among the most extensive in recent years.

Палеская паводка:  рака Моўства (Маства), Цераблічы 2013 год.

Photos of the Day for April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014 7:00 pm

Feast of the Resurrection, Easter Tuesday (Bright Tuesday), Al’homjel’ (Ohlamjel’) 2013.  Сьвяток Уваскрасеньня Хрыстовага, Альгомель (Огламель) 2013 год.

Stations of the Procession.  Хрэсны ход.

Blessing of the congregation.  Асьвячэньне вадой.

In my experience the parish choir in Al’homjel’ is one of the best in the Stolin District.  З майго вопыту прыходскі хор у Альгомелі адзін з найлепшых на Століншчыне.

 

Photo of the Day for April 21, 2014

April 20, 2014 7:00 pm

Feast of the Resurrection, Al’homjel’ 2013.  Сьвяток Уваскрасеньня, Альгомель 2013 год.

The celebration of Easter in the Orthodox parish of Al’homjel’ culminates in the feast of the Resurrection on Easter Tuesday (Bright Tuesday).

The village’s 1817 church of the Resurrection is a splendid example of Polesian wooden church architecture.  However, the church is too small to accommodate the large parish membership.  The parish thus uses its newer 1994 church for services.  Here, in a profound example of Christian and pre-Christian synchretism at the end of the service, parishioners kneel to let the icon borne at the head of the procession pass over them.