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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Roschino, St. Petersburg's suburbia, will host a 4th World Village international folk festival, August 13 into 16
The festival re-creates many nations' old rustic rites sanctifying ploughing, sowing, harvesting and other farmwork-incantations, sacred dances, fortune-telling, and suchlike. On one rite, of Central Russia, lasses started sowing. When the sown seed made neat, straight rows, it presaged an opulent harvest. Guests of honour will include regional administration dignitaries, Russian Folklore League top activists, Hieronym Gralia-Poland's Consul for Culture, and Forest Gunn, mayor of Narpes in Finland. A picturesque procession to open the festival, with the Roschino stadium for destination point, will start with a caravan of horse-drawn carts loaded with kegs of honey. The next day will be a Roschino foundation anniversary. Greeting the birthday town will be many merry games and contests, among them a tug-of-war, weightlifting, and Russian folk boxing. The latter event will gather teams of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kirov and Tver. Several trade fairs will be timed to the World Village festival. One of them, of folk crafts, will represent many parts of Russia. Another, Harvest Fair, will gather major government farms and small private farmers alike. This year's festival is dedicated to the Presentation of the Cross, a major feast the Russian Church celebrates, August 14. Honey is blessed at the day's liturgies, so the day is popularly known as Honey Saviour. Its trade fair will offer honey, a wide choice of meads, and spiced honey cakes from many parts of Russia. The festival steering committee makes it a point to arrange the fair on revived old standards that took root in the Middle Ages. "The Honey Saviour fairs of old were memorable pageants with singing, dancing, wrestling, performing bears, itinerant circus companies, merry-go-rounds, Petrushka puppet plays [Russian analogues of good old Punch and Judy shows], and what not," Novosti heard at the festival press centre. Crowning the World Village will be a grand round-dance and a gala concert, during which team and individual festival participants will receive certificates and gifts.
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