Rus Articles Journal

What was the May Day in Odessa nearly two centuries ago?

First of May - one of popular holidays since the birth of Odessa. It was the holiday of spring! It already later, since July, 1889 - go years, on May 1 became Day of solidarity of workers of the whole world. It were demonstrations, loud slogans, solemn a sock of portraits of leaders and red flags later. And in Odessa the mayovka was always wide festivities. And very much it is similar to a mayovka in our today`s understanding. The present mayovka does not do without shish kebabs, walk near the sea or in park.

So what was on May 1 in Odessa two centuries ago? In Odessa bulletin for 1834 article of the anonymous local journalist which colourfully describes celebration On the First of May in Odessa was published on May 5.

To Odessa, from the basis of it when it was just small town, passed usage from Russia to celebrate annually 1 - e Mai as the day appointed for a meeting of spring though the spring begins at us nearly two months before. This usage remained and hitherto.

Odessa made of different races newcomers, at the beginning, differed in a variety of the festivals. We remember still that time when steppe our vicinities were silent and empty, without any institutions and gardens, nowadays so numerous. Coastal places, beginning from Quarantine to Lyustdorf, were also not busy with farms; the wild monotony of the rocks and hills disseminated there quickened only the fisherman`s tent yes the Cossack cordon which was lonely hanging over seaside break. It to a pribrezhya was the favourite place for celebration 1 - guo Mai.

Then all town which is not built up yet and low-occupied since early morning rose to the feet, and all, young and old, hurried to spend to the coast the first day of Mai. Between rocks and bushes families walking with the national viands, binges and music were located. Towards evening everywhere fires were lit, the Russian samovar began to boil. Greeks covered trees with mutton heads and, dressed in national suits, were turned in the picturesque dancing. Merging with unceasing noise of waves, sad tunes of the Ukrainian or the spacious Russian song reached to you; on the other hand dissonant, monotonous sounds of the Bulgar kobza were heard or under clanking Greek the platform the song about some daring Klefta who was fearlessly plowing the sea, and not listening to commands of the Tsaregradsky Lord was distributed.

There is no it in Odessa any more now. Gulyanye for the first day of Mai became ordinary country walk; national differences of this festival, having disappeared, merged under the general level of the European entertainments and amusements. With approach 1 - guo Mai the Odessa inhabitants leave on the farm now, wander in shady avenues of gardens and grandly drink tea or soft drinks.

But if Odessa lost initial simplicity of festive festivities, but together with stone houses, richness of the city and the extensive population the European education increased in our societies, and with it former festivals and our customs changed.

This year celebration 1 - guo Mai at the dacha belonging once to the Duke de Richelieu and occupied nowadays was remarkable. Odessa City`s mayor. The garden and the opposite mountain were picturesquely lit with fires. Against the house a round swing and several tents with soft drinks were arranged. The warm, still night which is lit up by pale shine of month promoted numerous confluence of inhabitants. About seven o`clock in the evening the garden was already filled by walking. Fragrant flowers, so early developed this year in vicinities of Odessa, and the ladies` hats flashing in bright greens of trees at sounds of the rattling music, by the light of the month and flat dishes lighting a garden made a charming picture.

It was as if good if intention of our current City`s mayor annually entered usage to celebrate public festivities 1 - e Mai in the Dyukovsky garden, in unforgettable Richelieu`s memory, one of the most active responsible for the present blossoming condition of Odessa. Picturesque location of a garden and the extensive park which is again divorced on a height of part of it where crews can freely drive represents all conveniences to these festivities .

With a holiday of spring!