Following the conversion of Kievan Rus to Christianity in the year 988AD, bells came gradually into use everywhere. Originally, a flat piece of wood or metal called a semantron would be beaten rhythmically with a mallot calling the faithful to church services. This was especially true in monasteries, some of which still to this day use both semantrons and bells
Bells, especially Church Bells, have traditionally been associated with Christmas for centuries. In churches that have a Bell or Bells, They are often rung to signal the start of the service.
Bells announce events, activities or an occasion. They ring for good and bad times. They herald the New Year. Bells are rung in celebration of marriage. They are rung during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season, to proclaim the birth of Christ.
Ringing of bells goes back to pagan winter celebrations. Then, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night amongst which were bells. It was enjoyable ringing the bells and making a noise, too much fun just to scare wicked sprites away. Over time, bell ringing fused into other activities.
From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells began to be used in the Christian Christmas season. Living in Moscow you probably have heard church bells many times. Do you know when they are rung, is it a random process or is the cacophony structured?
Bell ringing plays an important role in Russian church traditions. You will learn the history of bells, learn to differentiate 4- types of bell ringing and will have an opportunity to try it yourself! See if you can create the soft, cheerful tones that blend so well and enhance the sounds of our holiday season.
Cost: 2500 rub per person