World famous Russian Ural Folk Choir to perform in JNU on 12 March

Friday, 11 March 2016 07:17

As part of annual Maslenitsa folk festival celebrations at JNU the world famous Russian Folk Choir from Ural Region will perform in New Delhi on 12th March. The programme includes a variety of folk dances and songs, both lyric and merrymaking. Artists from Russia are also participating in the World Festival of Culture in New Delhi on 11th March.

Founded in 1943, the State Ural Academic Russian Folk Choir is a laureate of numerous Russian and international competitions and musical festivals and a participant of the cultural programme of the Olympic Games – 1980 held in Moscow. The Ural artists frequently perform on best stages of the world and are now set to present their art mastery to the Indian public.

Spring welcome

The tradition of Maslenitsa dates back to pagan times, when Russian folk would bid farewell to winter and welcome spring. As with many ancient holidays, Maslenitsa (the stress being on the first syllable) in contemporary Russia has a dual ancestry: pagan and Christian.

On the pagan side, Maslenitsa marked the welcoming of spring, and was all about the enlivening of nature and bounty of sunny warmth. In this it resembles traditional Indian festival Holi.

On the Christian side, Maslenitsa was the last week before the onset of Lent (fasting which precedes Easter), giving the last chance to bask in worldly delights.

Once Lent itself begins, a fast strictly kept by the faithful, excludes meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Furthermore, parties, secular music, dancing and other distractions from the spiritual life are also considered inappropriate.

According to the Orthodox Church Maslenitsa is not just a week of merrymaking, but a whole step-by-step procedure to prepare oneself for a long and exhausting fasting, which, if observed properly, may be a real challenge.

Date: 12 March, 4 p.m.

Venue: Open Air Theatre, JNU

P.S. Maslenitsa means bliny, or pancakes! Delicious Russian blinys with honey and jam will be served on first come first eat basis


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