Kalevala’s Day

 Kalevala’s Day (Kalevala päivä)- holiday in honour of the Finnish and Karelian national poetic epic

“Kalevala”. Celebrated on 28TH February. This day is the official raising of the national flag.

Every year in Finland and Karelia, the Kalevala Carnival takes place on the day of the festival in the form of street costume procession, as well as theatrical performances based on the epic and musical song marathon. The main hero of Kalevala, the old songwriter Väinämöinen, who creates magic or cunningly produces a

boat, a fishing net, a kantele musical instrument and other things; in other runes, he creates the world

tree – a pledge of the well-being of the universe, extracts wisdom for people in other worlds,

participates in sowing the first arable land.

                  Photo from:


Maslenitsa – East Slavic traditional holiday celebrated during the week before Lent. This holiday is a kind of marker showing the boundary of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Each day of Maslenitsa have their own name:

 photo: Lidiia Benkovskaia

Monday- meeting

Tuesday- tricks

Wednesday -gourmet

Thursday- binge

Friday-crack evening

Saturday – sovkies

Sunday – off (end of Maslenitsa)

photo: from children’s encyclopedia

During all holiday people dance, eat pancakes, sing songs, play different outdoor games, meet with friends and relatives, all in all have a lot of fun!  The main event of carnival is the burning of the Scarecrow, in ancient times it could symbolize only one thing – the funeral of the cold, in other words – the burning of stuffed winter. Effigy of winter must be burned at the stake also because it symbolizes annual renewal. Once upon a time, old things were thrown into the fire, so that the fire swallowed up all that was sad and sinful. The strength of the fire depended when the early spring came, and with the help of the ashes they cultivated the fields so that there would be a good harvest.

International Women’s day


  photos: Lidiia Benkovskaia

Historically, it has emerged as the day of women’s solidarity in many countries in the struggle for equal rights and emancipation.  On 28th of February 1908, at the call of the New York Social Democratic Women’s Organization, a rally was held with slogans on equality of women. On this day, more than 15,000 women marched through the whole city, demanding a reduction in working hours and equal payroll conditions with men. In addition, there was a requirement to grant women the right to vote.  Nowadays, the 8th of March includes the well-established tradition of giving flowers and other gifts to women.