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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 15 - Students’ Day.
On January 25, Orthodox Christians in Russia observe a holiday to commemorate St. Tatiana. However, you will also find many students joyously celebrating all over Russia on this day. Why do you think that is? Well, it's because January 25 is also Students’ Day, or in Russian, День студента (Den' studenta).
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-
Which saint do you think is the patron saint of students in Russia?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In the year 1755 on January 12 in the old Russian calendar and January 25th in the new calendar, Elizaveta Petrovna, or the empress at the time, signed a decree to establish Moscow University, which in Russian is Московский университет, Maskofskiy universitet. This day marked the beginning of the celebration of University Founding Day. On January 25, 2005 It was officially named Russian Students’ Day.
Students’ Day in Russia is celebrated on a very large scale. Big groups of students gather together and celebrate the holiday in bars or restaurants. A festive service is traditionally held in the Church of St. Tatiana at Moscow State University; afterwards, students at the Lomonosov Monument light up the symbolic “cup of knowledge” which in Russian is called - чаша знаний (chasha znaniy). And of course, a colorful fireworks display takes place in the evening.
Interestingly, many students in Russia adhere to a number of superstitions they believe will help them successfully pass their exams. For example, before an exam, It's said that one should not wash their hair, they should always pick exam questions with their left hand, and they should not wear new clothes to the exam, or wash the clothes in which they successfully passed an exam, so as not to “wash off” their good luck.
On Tatiana’s Day, many cafes, restaurants, and stores offer various discounts to students. In 2014, the Moscow government prepared a special gift for the students: free entrance to the ice rinks in the city’s parks.
So, returning to our quiz, Which saint do you think is the patron saint of students in Russia?
As you have probably already guessed, the patron saint of students and teachers is none other than St. Tatiana. Incidentally, she is the patron saint of all the women named Tatiana as well.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Is Students Day celebrated in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!