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January 4-6 Russian Christmas in Swansea

  • Jan 4, 2013 · 6:00 PM

It became a tradition since we first organised Russian Christmas Jan[masked] in Wlaes.

We had great time this year in Dorset as well,

here are some videos:

It was very popular and people loved it...

Thirteen days after Western Christmas, on January 7th, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas, in accordance with the old Julian calendar. It's a day of both solemn ritual and joyous celebration. Before this date, Orthodox Russians fast for six weeks. This Fast is completely vegetarian and requires that there must not be any parties or gatherings.

After the 1917 Revolution, Christmas was banned throughout Russia, along with other religious celebrations. It wasn't until 75 years later, in 1992, that the holiday was openly observed. Today, it's once again celebrated in grand fashion, with the faithful participating in an all-night Mass in incense-filled Cathedrals amidst the company of the painted icons of Saints. Christmas in Russia is associated with a number of other practices, which represent a blend of tradition from Russia's Christian and pre-Christian past. It was once common practice, on Christmas Eve, for groups of people masquerading as manger animals to travel from house to house singing songs known as kolyadki. Some kolyadki were pastoral carols to the baby Jesus, while others were homages to the ancient solar goddess Kolyada, who brings the lengthening days of sunlight through the winter. In return for their songs, the singers were offered food and coins, which they gladly accepted before moving on to the next home.

Prior to Christmas Day, there is Christmas Eve, which marks the start of an old Slavic holiday, Svyatki, in which young women used a mirror and candles to invoke the image of their future husbands. Like going to church, fortune-telling on Christmas Eve is again becoming popular in Russia.

We plan to start our celebration on Friday evening, the festivities will begin as soon as you have arrived. There will be some Slavic dishes to try...

We plan have a nice refreshing hike on Saturday ( for those who want to and well equipped for winter outdoor), keep our festive time going on Saturday evening and have a small concert after dinner organised by us , followed by the late night party.

You are welcome to participate in the concert if you like and can perform something like: some song, dance, small show; may be a poem; what ever you are good at...

just let me know please so we can put it in a programm.

Last year, almost everyone made an effort and it was unforgetable...we even had a drunk Santa Claus fight...

There will be a shorter hike on Sunday, finishing around 2-3 pm, pub and leaving for London at about 4 pm.

The wonderful and varied landscape of the Gower Peninsula (Welsh: Penrhyn Gwyr) was the first place in Britain to be designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONB) by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the UK government, and is one of only five within Wales. 2006 saw the Gower Peninsula celebrating its 50th year as an AONB, an accolade that has truly stood the test of time.

Not surprisingly, such an enclosed peninsula surrounded by the Bristol Sea and Atlantic Ocean, has become a haven for some of the richest wildlife and varied habitats in the UK. Scattering the landscape in Gower are historic reminders of past 'Gowerians', from castles, medieval churches, iron age fortifications, and prehistoric standing stones. All this against an awe-inspiring, natural backdrop of hills, valleys, beaches, clifftops, commons, woodland, dunes, marshes and caves. With its vast populated history, stretching back as far as Lower Paleolithic times (250,000 BC), long-established stories, whether they be folklore, legend or fact, are plentiful and furnish the rich and delightful tapestry of Gower.

We rented good quality, 3 star group accommodation privately for 2 nights just for our group.

It is a grand Georgian House, which lies on the outskirts of Mumbles village, on the fringe of Swansea Bay, with the Gower Peninsula just around the headland. The beach is just two minutes walk away making this property ideal for groups who enjoy escaping to the coast.

The house has got a spacious hall for the concert, there will be enough place for everyone!

with maximum 4 people in a room, each with a washbasin.

Price includes:

2 nights accommodation,

Financial Consumer Protection according Package Holidays and Tours Regulations 1992,

guided hikes by Mountain Leader trained at Plas Y Brenin ( The National Mountain Centre ) guide, and certified First Aider

and all meals

(AAA aims for home-made healthy food, catered for vegetarians, vegans and anybody else. Meat we use for our meals is always Halal)

but NOT transport.

Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

Everyone in the group has to obtain appropriate insurance.

The BMC: offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at competitive rates.

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  • Tatiana L

    Great weekend! Thank you Misha and everyone else.
    See you all at Maslenitsa

    January 13, 2013

  • sofia

    It can't get any better than this. Thank you Misha for your effort. Can't wait for maslenitza))

    January 7, 2013

  • Nikolai

    Amazing weekend ! Thank you Misha and everyon else ! Looking forward for Maslenitza !:)

    January 7, 2013

  • Mike H

    Top weekend again

    January 7, 2013

  • Tracey S.

    Fun weekend. Great Sunday beach walk- next time I go to Gower I am may even go surfing!

    January 7, 2013

  • Tom

    Fantastic weekend!

    January 7, 2013

  • Jason L.

    hello all ; cheers for all the helpers in the kitchen ... Chef jason

    January 7, 2013

  • Fatiha

    FANTASTIC weekend! Thank you, Misha and everyone else!

    January 7, 2013

  • Ludmila

    What a fantastic weekend!!! Thank you, Misha and to everyone who helped.

    January 7, 2013

  • Sofia

    Such a wonderful weekend. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and meet a whole bunch of new people. The food, as always was fantastic and the performances were so much fun. Thanks everyone for this lovely trip!

    January 7, 2013

  • Shazad J.

    I had a fantastic weekend lovely to see you all again!

    January 7, 2013

  • Sarah B

    Fantastic weekend. Thank you Misha, drivers, cooks, hike leaders and everyone else too!

    January 7, 2013

  • Ingela

    tasty & healthy food, very friendly people, great walks

    January 7, 2013

  • Charles C

    Another fantastic weekend! Thanks to Misha and the AAA crew who looked after us. Good food, good Vodkas, good entertainments, good gentle hikes and good company what more can you ask for.

    January 7, 2013

  • David

    Thanks Misha and hike leaders and drivers for creating an Awesome weekend. Best meatballs I've ever eaten, fantastic people, music, performance and hikes. Now a detox after all that booze

    January 7, 2013

  • Dharmender

    It was fantastic to see you all - Thanks to Misha and Co's huge effort to make this event so cool. A special thanks to my Choli key Pecchey (Bollywood) Dance Troupe ;o)


    January 6, 2013

  • David D

    Another great full packed weekend with AAA celebrating Russian Xmas!

    January 6, 2013

  • Jane P

    Brilliant weekend thanks Misha

    January 6, 2013

  • Fabio

    Yet another memorable Welsh weekend packed with great people and amazing good food. Thanks everyone for be part of a couplem of good hikes. This time the "Fabio miles" worked pretty well! :)

    January 6, 2013

  • Jane C.

    Hi there - I am looking to buy a spot. Please call[masked] if you are selling. x

    January 3, 2013

  • Sarah B

    Update - leaving 4pm from East Finchley tube - have a couple of spaces left if anyone has last minute transport challenges. [masked]

    January 3, 2013

  • Sarah B

    I will be driving from north london tomorrow afternoon and could pick up from East Finchley tube station (northern line) leaving somewhere around 4pm (undecided as yet). If you need a last minute lift get in touch - [masked]

    January 3, 2013

  • Vladimir

    Hi everyone. My situation has a bit changed and now I'm in a face to face to the case of losing a place in a car. So I'm looking now for any possibilities to buy a place in a bus. One way... Please let me know by texting me. [masked]

    January 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi All, If a place is available for sale, please let me know. (I am planning to drive and offer lift to 3 more people)

    January 1, 2013

  • Mike H

    Hello everyone. So far I've had suggestions that Tanja will be performing Gangham style dancing and a tune on an instrument. David and Arpita might be performing a bollywood highland dance, Sarah and Marie have mentioned a tropical themed performance. If you'd like to let me know what your starring role will be I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise we might have the obligatory belly dance from you know who? I'm looking forward to hearing from you (it's not me)

    January 1, 2013

  • Jane C.

    Selling your place - I am very keen to buy. Jane[masked]

    December 31, 2012

  • Shazad J.

    Hi out there I'm now driving to gower so if anyone wants to sheer the petrol let me know[masked]

    December 28, 2012

  • Shazad J.

    Hi need a lift if any one has a spare seat London area would they be as kind to me phone on[masked]

    December 26, 2012

  • Mike H


    Whilst I don't wish to scare anyone attending the weekend I am as yet a little low on offers for performances for the Saturday night. I'm quite sure everyone would hate to hear my appalling and unfunny jokes for longer than necessary so please please spare yourself the trauma and get back to me with your 'act' or 'performance' that you would like to contribute. We already have some poetry reading, offers a of cocktail making dance, dancing and singing. Nothing much is off limits and the theme is as wide as we like.... I look forward to hearing what you will be contributing, so please let me know via e-mail...

    December 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    If someone want to sell his/her place. Please let me know
    Many Thanks

    December 22, 2012

  • Alexia

    If anyone wants to do a song with me for the concert - say in two or three parts and probably a cappella - then drop me an email through Meetup. I'm not doing it on my own! I've got a couple of ideas but am happy to try something else, or even try a song in another language.

    December 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi i will be driving from North London if anyone wants a lift. Hoping to leave sometime in the early afternoon. Email me via meet up.

    December 6, 2012

    • Sarah B

      I had been thinking of doing the same but if you would like to drive I'd be happy to do the same. [masked]. Where do you live and could I park my car there?

      December 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone have a spot in a car? Preferibly from south east london. Thx

    November 12, 2012

  • Tracey S.

    Ohh I love The Gower :) Will be interesting to see it in January!

    October 29, 2012

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