Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gold October

On Saturday evening, dh and I watched "The Hunt for Red October" on AMC -- we have it on video, but this was a letterbox version with captions underneath that made little esoteric notes about the movie.

I can't help wondering if this was a complete accident, or if somebody over at AMC was aware that November 7 was coming up, the anniversary of the 1917 revolution (which took place on October 25, according to the Old Calendar, thus the references to "October" when discussing this particular event).

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, November 7 has been a source of considerable tension in Russia. On that day, the dwindling Communist faithful gather to remember their lost glory -- it doesn't seem to have occurred to them that they are enjoying a right they certainly denied to their own opposition! -- and grumble and mutter about how the world is going to the dogs, or something like that.

Anyway, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has replaced November 7 with November 4, the "Day of Russian Unity." The Day of Russian Unity commemorates the day the Russians drove the Poles out of Moscow in 1612, during the Time of Troubles in between Tsar Ivan IV ("the Terrible") and the rise of the Romanov dynasty. My friend Dimitra has blogged about this new holiday, and notes that it is also the feast of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God -- which played a significant role in the driving out of the Poles.

So I shall think of this new holiday as "Gold October," since I almost never think of the Theotokos without thinking of that line from Psalm -- 44, I think it is -- "At Thy right hand stood the Queen, arrayed in a vesture of inwoven gold." The icon above, of the "Golden Tikhvin Theotokos," is what's in my mind.

Dimitra, I should note, is currently living in Russia and teaching English. Can you imagine actually being able to live in an Orthodox country?!?!?!


Mimi said...

No, wouldn't that be lovely! Wow.

Fascinating about the AMC broadcast. I saw it was on, and now wish I'd watched it. I saw it in the theater.

Happy Day today, my friend!

Elizabeth said...

Darlin' Meg -
As I think back on all the things that have happened in Russia in the last 100 years, I, too, think of the Theotokos. And, although the Golden Tikvin Icon of the Theotokos is beautiful and worthy of veneration, I think more of the "Reigning" Icon of the Theotokos. This Icon of the Theotokos was found at the time of the abdication of the Tsar, and is thought to mystically be the "ruler and protector" of all Russian lands i place of the Tsar. The story is here:

May your weekend be blessed!!

Catherine K. said...

For some reason the comments section for this post just isn't displaying properly. I guess that Blogger has issues occasional just like WorldPress.

Putin certainly chose a good date for the new holiday - and it does seem that the Theotokos has always the protector of all of the Russian lands, as Elizabeth mentions.

Something interesting of note - Solarai Gallery has a petite-point/cross-stitch chart for the Kazan icon :)