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BellaOnline's Russian Culture Editor

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Religion and Folklore

Information on religion and belief in Russia past and present, particularly folk beliefs.

A Tale of the Stubborn Goats star
Read a charming tale about two stubborn nanny goats. Stubbornness is a trait we have all exhibited at one time or another, with a bad end result.

Baba Yaga Russian Witch star
Every culture has its fairytales and in those fairytales you'll discover a witch or two. Baba Yaga is the Russian witch or vedma.

Goats in Russian Folktales star
Many animals appear in Russian folktales, but it is the goat that is one of the most popular. Read the tale of the goat kids and the wolf and a nursery tale.

Mermaids -- Rusalki star
A fascination with mermaids is evident in every culture. These sea creatures appear in fairytales worldwide and the Russian version of the mermaid is called a rusalka.

Modern Russian Holy Man star
Once, I met a saint although I didn't realize it at the time. His name was Bishop John and he was from San Francisco.

Monastic Life star
A day in the life of a Russian monk is structured and filled with prayer, chores and silence.

Orthodox Population Around The World star[offsite link]
Did you know that there are only 75% of Orthodox believers in Russia while in Moldova, the Orthodox population reaches 98.5%?

Religious Freedom Report 2003 star[offsite link]
Although the Constitution provides for the equality of all religions before the law and the separation of church and state, the Government did not always respect this provision.

Russian Pagan Gods star[offsite link]
A short history of research in this area, followed by a list of names with brief descriptions

The Firebird star
Russia is sometimes referred to as "The Land of the Firebird." The firebird or "zhar ptitsa" is Russia's bird of fame, appearing in folktales, music, and art. In one tale, this bird eats golden apples in the king's or tsar's orchard.

The Goat With The Glass Eyes star
Read the Russian folktale about the old woman, her field of oats and the goat with the glass eyes and golden horns.

The Rooster in Russian Fairytales star
The rooster is one of the many animals that appears in Russian fairy tales. Read a tale about Pete the rooster and the pea pod and a nursery tale.

The Russian Chicken star
The hen or chicken, called the coo-ree-tza, is an ancient symbol of happiness in Russia. Hens can be found everywhere in Russia: from her folktales to folk art such as the matrioshka or nesting doll and all over the land.

The Three Daughters star
Read the tale of the three daughters and the squirrel. It's a good reminder of what our priorities should be.

The Wedding Service in Russian Orthodox Church star[offsite link]
The Mystery of marriage of the Holy Orthodox Church is steeped in ritual and symbolism. Each of the acts has special meaning and significance.

Thunder and Elijah the Prophet star
August second in the church calendar is Saint Elijah the Prophet’s day. Saint Elijah is a popular prophet and is common to the religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. He is known as "The Thunderer."

Links marked with the [offsite link] designation point to websites not associated with BellaOnline.com. BellaOnline.com is not responsible for the material found there.

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