"First Flowers of Spring" vs valentines
By Vestnik Kavkaza
Today young people celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. The Orthodox Church has ambiguous attitude to this holiday. Priests have many times said that this holiday is alien to Orthodox traditions. Instead of it they suggest celebration of the summer Orthodox holiday – Petr and Fevronya’s Day. And a new holiday – Orthodox Youth’s Day – was established on February 15th to replace valentine cards and other Western stuff with beautiful local traditions.
The second charity ball "First Flowers of Spring" devoted to the Day of Orthodox Youth will be held on February 15 in the parquet hall of Vernadsky Moscow Geological Museum. “The ball is free for its participants. The only thing, of course, is that we are limiting the participants of the ball, because, you know, the room cannot be stretched,” Galina Rapoport, President of "ERA Media", says. “We're doing it for the age category of 18-30 years, for those young people. We invest our money in the conduct of such a beautiful event, which, once again, will be focused on the communication of children, and I think that after this many people will find new friends.”
“The event is organized by the company "Media Era" and two of the Synodal Departments - the Department for Church and Society and the Department for Youth - of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Church as a traditional force has always favored retaining the cultural traditions that have been accumulated among the Russian people for centuries,” Maxim Parshin, head of the Service for Regional Relations of the Synodal Department of the Russian Orthodox Church for Church and Society, states. “Unfortunately, XX century was quite brutal and bloody. This affected our culture, including the culture of leisure. And we have forgotten that the best Russian tradition is not just boozing or spending leisure time in a mind-blowing frenzy. There are other traditions, which we need to remember and which it is necessary to maintain and revive. And such a great ball is an attempt to reach out to our society, to show that, in addition to various kinds of night entertainment places in the form in which they now exist, there is the opportunity to obtain a positive charge of communicating in slightly different conditions. The Orthodox ball will involve two orphanages and major universities - Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow State University, Russian Orthodox University.
“I well remember the first rehearsal,” Evgeni Papunaishvili, choreographer, says. “When the future participants of the ball came to the school; many of them never danced and had no idea what it is. This was astonishing to see how the very first lesson changed the emotional state of the people when they entered dance halls, put on their dancing shoes, stood in pairs. They learned to do something, someone did it immediately, some did not, but everyone worked, and from the second lesson everyone danced. I can only see some advantages here. I want them to remember this day. I'm sure they will remember it for life. We expect a lot of dancing, a lot of beautiful music, dance master class which I will gladly conduct and a lot of fun and joy. I am sure that there will be 300 people simultaneously smiling. I think that watching this will be a great happiness.”