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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 23 - Peter and Fevronia Day
Did you know that in addition to St. Valentine’s Day, there is a holiday in Russia that is dedicated to family and marriage? This holiday is called the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity, and its Russian name is День семьи, любви и верности (Den' sem'i, lyubvi i vernasti). It's celebrated every year on July 8. In this lesson, we will look into the traditions involved in celebrating this interesting and wonderful holiday.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-
What flower do you think is the symbol of the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening.
The Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity, is also known as Peter and Fevronia Day, which in Russian is День Петра и Февронии (Den' Petra i Fevronii). It's one of the newest holidays in Russia, but it has a very ancient history nevertheless. Instituted in 2008 at the suggestion of the wife of the Russian Federation’s Prime Minister Svetlana Medvedeva, this holiday was established to commemorate the Orthodox saints Peter and Fevronia who are considered to be the patron saints of happy marriages and love.
According to legend, Prince Peter or князь Пётр in Russian suffered from leprosy, which nobody could cure. One day, he had a dream that Fevronia, or Феврония in Russian, a commoner’s daughter, could cure him. The prince sent his people to get her, and eventually Prince Peter fell deeply in love with her and married her after he had healed completely. Because of her common origins, the boyars did not want to accept Fevronia. So, in order not to be separated from his beloved, Prince Peter left the city of Murom with her and renounced the throne. Together, the couple endured many trials but preserved their love for and fidelity to each other. Later on, they took their monastic vows and, as the legend goes, died on the same day at the same time.
On this day, festive events take place all over Russia – concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and competitions. On the occasion of this holiday, the best families in Russia are presented with medals for love and fidelity, along with various valuable gifts. To receive a medal, the couples must have been happily married for at least 25 years, raised their children as worthy members of Russian society, and serve as models for the preservation of family values.
The relics of Saints Peter and Fevronia are at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Murom. Today, anyone who wants to can go there and pray for the happiness and welfare of the family.
So, returning to our quiz, what flower do you think is the symbol of the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity?
It’s the daisy, known in Russian as ромашка (ramashka). The daisy is depicted on one side of the medal for love and fidelity, while the other side of the medal shows the images of Saints Peter and Fevronia. On this festive day, it's customary to give people bouquets of daisies.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Is there a holiday similar to the Peter and Fevronia Day in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!