Patriarch Alexii II Releasing Doves on the Holiday of the Annunciation

On April 7th, the holiday of Annunciation of the Mother of God, I organized for my Australian clients a special tour to the Grand Kremlin and Faceted palaces on the first half of the day and after this tour we planned to see cathedrals and Armory museum of the Moscow Kremlin. For a while I was waiting for my clients from this special tour, so I decided to hang around the grounds of the Kremlin to take some interesting pictures by my new camera, I had about 1.5 hours for it and actually this time passed very quick - it was really nice warm sunny day, I can say that my clients from Australia were very lucky with weather, they were the first sunny spring days.

Walking around the Cathedrals Square (the main square of Moscow Kremlin) I noted several camera crews and journalists nearby Annunciation Cathedral and had a thought that something important was going on there... After taking some interesting shots within an hour I returned back to the Cathedrals Square to meet my clients from the special tour and I was greatly impressed by amount of people and security surrounding the Cathedral. It was not difficult for me to guess that the Patriarch of Russia is currently providing a morning liturgy there. Of course, I held on to my camera so I would not miss the moment when our Patriarch will came out after finishing the holiday message. The liturgy lasted till noon and by tradition the bell ringers were on the main tower of Ivan The Great announcing to the people that the message is over. I also was greatly impressed again because right before the moment when our Patriarch appeared from the cathedral, the group with my clients came out from the Grand Kremlin Palace and were able to see the ceremony provided by Alexii II outdoors.

I think that to see this ceremony was quite interesting for all tourists and believers who were the square at that moment. According to Russian tradition, His Holiness came out to the porch of the Annunciation Cathedral (private church of our Tsars). Several small girls and boys greeted him by reciting a short rhymes dedicated to this holiday. Then Alexii II sounded greetings to believers and released two white doves to remind people about the good news of the coming freedom given not only to humans but to all creatures. After the outdoor ceremony was finished, Alexii II sat into his limo surrounded by his bodyguards and was escorted by a jeep with security and minivan with a lot of nuns in black robes. I heard from somebody nearby that His Holiness Patriarch went to Cathedral of Christ The Savior to continue to greet people with the holiday, orá I thought at the moment, maybe to have a "holiday dinner"? ...

PS: On this day I learned disappointing news for travel photographers - beginning March 2008, the administration of Moscow Kremlin has forbidden taking pictures on the grounds of the Kremlin with cameras which lenses more than 70 mm without special permission. I had some difficulties on that morning to bring my new camera Nikon D300 with 72 mm lenses. After long discussion with security of Moscow Kremlin they let me to go in with my camera, but I don't think that I will be allowed in the future.. This is a pity, isn't it?

With Best Regards,
Your Moscow Guide, Driver & Photographer

About Me in Short

Arthur Lookyanov

My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services, check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.

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