Posted on January 6, 2017
Happy Russian Orthodox Christmas!
Note: I am working on a new first draft and pondering what I’ll do to help bring people together this year. (See last week’s blog post at http://lynnlovegreen.com/2016-a-good-year-for-the-arts-wrap-up/.) I confess my brain is a little full right now, so it’s a good time for a “retread” blog post.
Tomorrow (January 7) is Russian Orthodox Christmas, so I send you best wishes and this excerpt from a 2015 blog about the holiday:
Many Orthodox churches celebrate according to the older Julian calendar, so they have a different date than traditionally American churches. But there is a significant number of Russian Orthodox Alaskans, thanks to our history. Alaska was Russian before it was American, and there is a cultural legacy here.
One fun aspect of the holiday is starring, still common in some Alaskan towns and villages. To represent the star that led the wise men to the Chris child, they decorate a huge star and carry it from house to house and sing, much like Christmas carolers. The photo is from the Alaska Dispatch News, via John Hanscom’s My Alaska board on Pinterest, caption: “rmogen Merculief spins the star as Father Pete Chris, of St. Innocent Russian Orthodox Church, leads the church choir in hymns at the Alaska Native Medical Center on Tuesday. Starring or “Slaaviq” is a traditional part of the Russian Orthodox Christmas celebration.”
History author Laurel Bill has a great blog post on the holiday here: http://auntphilstrunk.com/russian-orthodox-christmas-celebrated-january-7/#more-1058
And there is a scene about starring in Alaskan Don Rearden’s book The Raven’s Gift. Learn more about the book at http://www.donrearden.com/index.html (Note: be aware that much of the book is a thriller, not to be read at bedtime unless you like scaring yourself! But it is brilliantly written!)
Best wishes, and we’ll talk more next week!