9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS17 Sociology of Celebration

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Celebrating Identities Building AA, AA.329

Transformation of the festival calendar in today´s Russia: Policies and practices

A paper is about the rapid cultural changes in contemporary Russian festival calendar that reflect complex efforts of the state, market and civil society to formulate the new Russian national identity. A system of Soviet festivals is being forgotten, the significance and semantic load of almost all official celebrities is demolished except for the Victory Day, which is actively used by the authorities and is accepted by the population to sustain the feelings of patriotism and national superiority, as well as collective memories and appreciation for the older generation. The research shows that practically all newly introduced statutory festivals are often misunderstood by population but are welcomed as an additional option for a holyday with (Independence Day, Constitution Day). An increase in popularity of religious celebrations is reinforced by mass media and supported by official discourse. Young Russian people in large cities are welcoming European and global festivals and patterns of celebration, they include in festival calendars of their referent groups such festivals as "Catholic Christmas", "St.Valentine´s Day", "St.Patrick´s Day". Modification of festivals in today´s Russia is in focus of economic interests and information exchange. Such festivals are shaped and framed by the global and local processes, they contribute to dissemination of standardized cultural practices and behaviours.