A Day in Russia 1: A painter’s day in Irkutsk – Baikal – Olkhon

This is the first article in the series of articles about the real life of people in different cities of Russia. We start with a boy’s day in Siberia near Baikal.

June 15th. Siberia. Irkutsk. Vlad, 34 years old, painter.
Hello, friends! A few kilometers from Olhon there is a mountain in the shape of a pyramid called Yord (Ёрд), this place is sacred among the shamans of Olkhon. Once every 4 years at the foot of this mountain they do cultural and religious acts. Let’s see them together.

5:23 in the morning, I wake up and have breakfast with a sandwich. It’s my own terrace.

The streets of Irkutsk are empty. In the picture you can see a typical wooden house in the city of Irkutsk.

At 6:27 we left town by car.

We arrive at the Olkhon district at the point of interest to the mountain pyramid Ёрд (Yord), which is 2 km from Baikal on the river Anga in the village of Elantsi. From the distance this mountain looks like an artificial hill. Its height is 42 meters. Before the 20th century, every year here they celebrated festivities in honour of the gods of earth, water and sky. Near the rock Ayia they danced ritual dances where only initiated people could enter. The dances went on for 6 days and 6 nights. At least 700 people participated in the ritual dances, holding hands. During this dance they spent 2-3 pairs of shoes. In this place the shamans of Buriatia, Baikal and Olkhon spoke with the spirits and gods. After a century of oblivion the spiritual festivals were restored in this place.

The people gather and the shamans prepare.

Always at parties or big events in Russia the police arrive to keep watch.

The dancers are preparing their dances, musicians are rehearsing, spectators are bored waiting.

12:20 noon. The shamans have started the religious acts.

The participants from Buriatia are praying.

The party’s started, but while I was resting on the river.

10:00 p.m. After the party I go home, rest on the balcony and go to sleep.



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