Friday, 18 March 2022

Russian Revolution 1917, Julian Calendar, time zones, and International Women's Day in Russia …

 

Our history group has moved on from the French Revolution to the Russian Revolutions of the first part of the 20th century … which of course was fine at the beginning of the year … but now by far worse – as the 'man-devised', despotic, brutal humanitarian disaster continues in Ukraine …



Women's Demonstration for bread and peace,
Petrograd - 1917

definitely not something I wanted to write about … which is why I held back in mid February, being uncertain what to write.




I am going to belatedly to mention International Women's Day … initiated by women joining in the peaceful Petrograd (St Petersburg) protest of 1905 … leading to the crowd being fired on by the Imperial Guard – now known as Bloody Sunday 1905.



German Poster for IWD
1914

After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution) – International Women's Day on February 23rd in St Petersburg was made a national holiday. This date in the Julian calendar equates to the today's world accepted Gregorian calendar date of 8th March …



It's accepted from 1582 onwards for all but four areas in the world to use this calendar – the exceptions are Ethiopia (Ethiopian calendar), Nepal (Vikram Samvat and Nepal Sambat), Iran and Afghanistan (Solar Hijri calendar).


Russia changed in 1918 … hence the date discrepancy … because Russia is so enormous … the date change after 31 January 1918 (the old Julian calendar date) became 14 February 1918 in the newly accepted Gregorian calendar … it then took until 1920 for the change to fully take effect.



Pictogram of Russian time zones

Other interesting things of note are the time zones across Russia – there are eleven of them! Fancy keeping track of those … but thankfully the railways and air travel follow local time …



... Russian Daylight Saving Time has 'fallen away' since 27 March 2011 when clocks were advanced, but did not go back …


Book cover


So back to why I was writing this post … however the rabbit holes of links to Kurkov, recommended by Orlando Figes – whose book Natasha's Dance I have here (a broad cultural history of Russia) – and other rabbity holes!  




Kurkov (see my previous post) described another of Figes' books The Whisperers as 'one of the best literary monuments to the Soviet people'.


Hermitage Museum complex

Here's a couple of links:

The Whisperers - by Orlando Figes - private life in Stalin's Russia ... 


Scarlet Sails - celebration of
music and the arts - per popular
1922 Children's Book
by Alexander Grin
(in St Petersburg on the 
River Neva)

The Guardian "The Women's Protest that sparked the Russian Revolution 1917"    


There's such an enormous cultural and historical story line around the northern continental area that is today described as Russia, which at one stage included Alaska to the east ... 

... I hope the present situation will not obliterate the history we've come in recent times to learn about and appreciate ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

23 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I agree, Hilary - so much of joy and beauty, exotic and challenging about Russian culture... which is actually a mixture of many diverse cultures as I am sure you have learned. True of most of the world. So easy, far, far too easy, for that to be lost under the pall of rage and smoke... YAM xx

Liz A. said...

Ah, our interesting times...

The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one is fascinating. Not everyone switched over at the same time, and that led to all sorts of strange issues. Like, Olympic teams missing the Olympics. Fascinating.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting there are still different calendars used.
There is talk here of staying on Daylight Savings Time. I guess they tried once in the 1970's, but parents were outraged when their kids had to go to school in total darkness for months. So we'll see if it goes through and how long it lasts.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

This is a very interestig post

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Britain didn't adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752, Hilary; people protested at losing 11 days of life! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all nations of the world, whilst obviously not agreeing on everything, respected their neighbours. The unnecessary war and tragedy in Ukraine is not Russia's fault; it is the fault of a madman, Putin, stuck in a time-warp, and his equally lunatic - and perhaps (charitably) brainwashed - supporters.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

An eclectic post, Hilary. Who knew so much about calendars in all their mysterious variations? It's something we all look at every day without giving a thought to how it was derived and whether it is universal. In fact I suspect that few of us look at an actual calendar any more, since the date is shown on every device we own, even on my watch! I know little of Russian culture, but I enjoy their ballet, and listen to many of their great composers. I have benefitted from their literature. I am filled with immense sadness when I watch Putin destroying Ukraine, and its people and its wildlife, and Balsinaro in Brazil dismantling the rain forest to imperil the entire Earth. How have we permitted a system to evolve where one man in each country can do this, and leave us powerless to stop either one of them? It was Albert Schweitzer who said that man will destroy the Earth, and he was right. We are getting close. Hugs from your Canadian pal, David.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam - it's such senseless devastation of so much ... how on earth one man can direct all this hatred at fellow humans living in a country that likes to think for itself, and not be directed how to think and be free to express themselves. Just desperate times ...

@ Liz - I'd forgotten about the 1908 Olympics and the Russian team getting the date wrong - thanks for that interesting fact ...

@ Alex - yes now only those four countries/areas ...

We occasionally go through dropping the DST system - but it's still here ... next weekend for us - and yes if we didn't do it ... then farmers would be farming in the dark for some of the day.

@ Jo-Anne - thank you ...

@ Mike - thanks my post was meant to convey that over the years/ centuries countries adopted the Gregorian calendar ... and I was concentrating on Russia - and yes of course 'losing' 11 days is difficult to grasp. I know it's not the Russian people's fault - just one madman ... everyone was benefiting before this debacle of a war.

Brainwashing by spying, surveillance of all life, bullying - eliminates the peoples' ability to think for themselves ... so sad for us all in the 21st century.

@ David - yes ... it was going to be more eclectic - so count your blessings! I'm sure most of us just live and remember when a weekend is, or a public holiday and that's about it. Time also is difficult to describe - but both affect our lives around the world.

I too love the culture I know about - but very little of it - so this is an opportunity for me to improve my very limited knowledge.

Dictators - Putin, Bolsonaro, Duterte in the Philippines, Xi Jinping of China ... Kim Jong-un ... all appalling for humanity in the 21st century.

Albert Schweitzer - appears to be right in his prediction ...

Thanks to you six - just a very difficult time for the world at large, but particularly Ukraine - all the best - Hilary

Kalpana said...

11 time zones? That really is a lot. I would like to explore The Whisperers. The war in Ukraine is heartbreaking and I quite understand why you wouldn't want to write about Russia. But isn't that exactly the right thing to do? To remember that war is being waged by their leader and the generals (as it always is) and not the people. I'm very glad your blog post shows the human side of them.

Birgit said...

It is such a difficult time now with Dtalin ..Er, I mean Hitler, Er...Putin in power. He will now take the route of starving the people out like Stalin did in 1932/33 where 7 million died in Ukraine. Stalin tried this again in Berlin, 1945, but the U.S. dropped food and medical aide, not to mention chocolate for the kids. I hope the U. S. Will do this again. One must stand up to a bully whether they are in a school yard or a leader of a country. Bullies are cowards but they are unpredictable but fear can not drive this path otherwise he will win. This will not be good.

Jacqui Murray said...

Very interesting post. Russia has been an abiding interest for me since college (when a friend's father accused me of being a Communist). Russia will survive. The people take the idea of 'Mother Russia' to their grave.

Dan said...

It's always hard when current events interfere with plans for study and discussion. These events pull even the most innocent post into the political context which we cannot escape. You did a very good job of presenting this information and skirting the mess that is surrounding this area today.

Joanne said...

Russian history is certainly complex. And I try to keep a perspective that a large portion of Russian people are "stuck" with the current regime, not necessarily supportive. It's all so difficult, but I think your post brought a positive light and angle.

retirementreflections said...

This is such a thought-provoking post (as usual), Hilary. I join you in hoping that the present situation does not obliterate the good.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kalpana - it's a huge country; I have Figes' 'Natasha's Dance' here and I hope to read it now ... so much to learn about Russian culture.

I really would prefer to concentrate on Ukrainian culture and life - but I understand your thoughts ... I know so little ... I'd have liked to continue and have that ability to learn and understand in freedom ...

Thanks for your appreciation of the post ...

@ Birgit - it is such an appalling time ... devastating - and yes there have been similar incursions - sadly today with missiles and modern warfare - the anxiety is of nuclear war ... which I think curtails the possibility of escalating the war - and yes we must stand up to bullies, but dictators in charge of countries such as Russia ... are 'defective' to put it mildly ... and as you say 'this will not be good' ...

@ Jacqui - I remember your interest in Russia ... and your note about a friend accusing you of being a communist - oddly I had similar in South Africa with the ANC. I do understand the idea of 'Mother Russia' ... my concern at the moment re culture is that it'll be held back for decades - perhaps not, I hope ...

@ Dan - thank you ... I certainly don't know enough to note anything other than the horror of the invasion, but at least to provide a little information. We know so little, but we can see the horror and cruelty ...

@ Joanne - East European history is hugely complex ... but I agree with you - that it's not the Russian people causing the horror ... as many have Ukrainian roots or relations ... thank you re the support for my post.

@ Donna - I really appreciate your comment - and like you I do hope that this can be brought to a close very very soon ...

Thanks for being here reading and commenting ... the sooner this 'scorched earth' policy by Putin is curtailed the better ... Hilary

Hels said...

The highlight of my grandparents' lives was the Russian Revolution, the time when most workers' and women's dreams came true. It allowed artists, writers and composers to produce fabulous works, and for architects to make Russian culture very special.

Needless to say, Stalin and others lethally damaged Russian dreams of an equalitarian democracy. But I suppose no dream lasts forever :(

Keith's Ramblings said...

When I originally planned my visit to Expo Dubai, Russia was near the top of my list of pavilions I wished to visit. Its culture, its history has always fascinated me, and that's exactly what I would have learned more about. However when I was there a couple of weeks ago, it was the only country with no queue of visitors waiting to get in, whilst the queue to visit Ukraine's pavilion went out of sight. I simply couldn't support Russia's exhibit.

Deborah Barker said...

Let's hope that common sense and peace is restored soon. No right thinking person in Russia or Ukraine nor indeed, elsewhere in the world, wants this war...It is Putin's horror. Your thoughtful post highlights how things have and can change...thank you.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Really can't believe the unending appetite some leaders have for violence and war! I'm so exhausted seeing people suffer at the whims of a few insanely arrogant men. Hope better sense prevails soon.

Take care, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels - Russia has such a complex history of horrors and wonders ... I hope you've some of their writings and history from those times - it's an amazing country ... how one man - Stalin or Putin can quash a country, keeping freedom down ... is just horrific to think about.

I'm sure your grandparents must have had extraordinary tales to tell ...

@ Keith - I gather the Expo is stunning ... I've a friend from Bombay who has specifically visited with her American husband, and here another friend has just visited ... I must find out if they went to the Expo - I expect so.

How interesting about the Russian pavilion being boycotted ... while Ukraine's had queues ... I'm not surprised you didn't want to visit the Russian one - sad for not checking it out, but desperately sad at the experience Ukraine is going through ... so totally understandable. I hope you're going to show us some photos soon ...?

@ Deborah - gosh I sincerely hope so ... but how does he (Putin) save face - except he most definitely shouldn't be allowed to - yes the wheels will turn, but such horror being experienced by so many innocents in the meantime.

@ Nila - Yes - they get a bee in their bonnet and off they go - no stopping them, because of their 'goal' ... it is so desperate ...

Thanks for visiting ... I really do hope, like you, that this stops very very soon ... in this day and age we shouldn't need to expose a country to this megalomaniac man and his actions ...

Some people set wonderful examples ...Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has just been released from Iran - after 6 years in prison - gave a talk at our Parliament today ... and I noted she was wearing blue and yellow ... so thoughtful in the circumstances.

Thank you for visiting and reading - with thoughts to all Ukrainians ... Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

Eleven time zones in Russia. Wow.
Here's hoping for better days for Ukrainians and the people of Russia.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Sandra - it's a huge country ... and yes I too wish for better days for the Ukrainians ... take care - Hilary

Destination Infinity said...

I wonder how the traveling Russians manage... I guess they need to keep adjusting their wristwatches too frequently!

While we have been getting positive news that many countries are downsizing or abandoning their armies, this conflict pops up. Let's hope they are able to negotiate some sort of a peace settlement soon.

Destination Infinity

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rajesh - thanks for your comment; I sincerely hope peace will come and there is no more bombing of innocents and their lifestyle - apartments, hospitals and all things of normal living ...
Cheers Hilary