May 04, 2020

Dance Like Everyone is Watching


Dance Like Everyone is Watching
Who wouldn't want to dance in the woods during a pandemic? Image by Vladimir Lobachev via Wikimedia Commons

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many areas have instituted stay-at-home orders, and Nizhny Novgorod is no different. Two city residents were recently arrested for violating the order by participating in a khovorod.

A khovorod is a dance in which the participants dance in a circle (usually around something or someone). It is popular around holidays, such as the upcoming May holidays.

A video appeared on social media last weekend with many people in traditional costumes in Nizhny Novgoro dancing the khorovod and singing. Police detained several persons at the beginning of the week for violating their stay-at-home orders, and were able to determine that two of those they detained were participants in the khovorod. Authorities are still trying to identify the other participants.

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Easter and Maslenitsa are just two of the holidays that Russians celebrate to herald the end of winter and the beginning of spring - a time of rebirth and new life. In this counterpart to our Nov/Dec 2009 article on winter holidays, we explore the Russian rites of spring.
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