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Main page / What's On / Horse Holiday in Vitoslavlitsy
Horse Holiday in Vitoslavlitsy
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1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Vitoslavlitsy Wooden Architecture Museum

+7 (816 2) 77 37 38

250 RUB (adult)
200 RUB (students, pensioners)
500 RUB (family ticket)

58.49174800, 31.27285900

On September 6, 2020 the Museum of Wooden Architecture Vitoslavitsy will hold the horse festival: Who’s got a horse has got a treasure!

The festival will begin with the opening of the interactive show Khozyastvennyj dvor (Farm Yard), in the south-west area of the museum, where horses and goats, that have always been fundamental to the rural economy, are kept.

The aim of the festival is to focus on the important role the horse played in the life of Novgorod’s peasants.

Visitors will experience the rituals of the memorial day of the Saints Florus and Laurus, whose feast day is celebrated on 18th August.

According to popular tradition these saints are the patrons of horses, as they are prayed to for keeping the horses healthy, for their offspring and wellbeing.

On this day horses are not used for any work, no matter how important it may be, and are allowed to rest. There used to be a special ritual, that is the bathing of the horses. They were led to the nearest river or lake, where they took a solemn bath and got their tails and manes combed. They were then gathered from all the neighboring villages and led to a chapel in a remote place where a service took place. Special biscuits called froly were baked for the horses, who could eat their fill. Men who worked with horses, i.e. grooms and shepherds, were also given much importance on that day. During the festival the memorial day of Simeon Stylites is celebrated too, his feast being on the 1st of September. In the old times on that day there used to be a so-called "tonsure" and the "sitting on the horse" of a three-year-old boy. This ancient Russian custom became famous from the beginning of the 12th century. Child’s relatives played a very important role in the ritual of the sitting.

During the festival you will not only see the ceremony and all the families taking part in it, but also feel the charm and solemnity of this ancient tradition.
You will be shown how to take care of a horse and taught how to clean hooves and harness a horse to a cart, as well as how to milk a goat and recipes for homemade goat cheese.

You will take part in dance games, watch theatre performances and listen to old praise songs with the folk groups Krugovina (Velikiy Novgorod), Pleskava (Luga) and Fyokla (Pskov).

Funny games with treats and prizes and workshops for little ones and grown-ups await the visitors.

The educational programme "U kobylitsy svoi nebylitsy" (Mare’s tales) will get you to know rituals and divination with horses and will be held in the temporary exhibition "Kto s konem – tot s dobrom" (Who’s got a horse has got a treasure) in the interactive area Vymutnoy chulanchik at the exhibition Vozrast chelovecheskij (Human Ages) in the house of countess A. A. Orlova-Chesmenskaya.

First visitors will have the opportunity to see the show of the incendiary equestrian stunt group Bagmut (Saint Petersburg).

Scheduled activities include horse riding, competitions and much more!

Close to the museums are craft markets where you will find souvenirs and products from the best city restaurants and cafes.

Video from the holiday 2013
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