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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

February 16, 2022, 11:02


Muscovites buy the first spring flowers on Sverdlov Square. Photo by O. Yarchevsky. February 28, 1958 Main Archive of Moscow

On this day, men repaired plowing implements, and women darned clothes and cleaned dishes.

The Slavs celebrated the Pochinka holiday on February 16 (February 3, old style). However, on this day it was customary to work. In Russia, it was believed that the sooner preparations for spring work began, the more they could do. Information about Pochinki has been preserved in the Glavarkhiv of Moscow.

The name of the holiday comes from two verbs: to repair and to begin. On this day, work began early in the morning. The men repaired plowing implements, the elderly mended horse harnesses, and the boys took care of the furniture, such as stools and benches.

Women and girls put things in order in the attics and cellars, got things out of the chests: sorted out, shook out, put patches. The girls cleaned the dishes from soot. Everything repaired was hung in the courtyard of the house on the fence, so that it could be seen by the neighbors. Especially Pochinki were considered important for unmarried girls – good housewives got married faster. After all the day’s work, young people gathered for gatherings. Fun was arranged at which young people chose their brides. For example, the girls sat down to embroider and darn shirts at speed, while the guys watched and evaluated everything. The evening of gatherings ended with quadrilles. The girls had to try hard here too – they said that a good dancer would make a nimble hostess.

Traditionally, on Pochinki, salamata was prepared in the houses – thick, like jelly, porridge boiled in flour. Because of this dish, people began to call sluggish and lazy people salamats later. Many pies with potatoes were baked for this day, and one was stuffed with mushrooms. It was believed that the girl who got the mushroom pie would be the first to get married.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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