Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group Newsletter #6, January 1997

(Published with the assistance of Southern Connecticut State University)
No.5, July, 1996

Blessing of the Waters by Teodor Axentowicz

Description; “Blessing of the Waters” by Teodor Axentowicz (Axentovich) (1859-1938),
a reverse image copy of an oil painting (ca. 1922) in the Kosciuszko Foundation – New York City.

This painting is in reference to tte “Feast of the Epiphany” which celebrates the “Manifestation” of Jesus Christ in three occurrences – the Appearance of the Magi (popularly referred to as “kings”) at Bethlehem, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River and the miracle of water to wine in Cana, Western Christian tradition enphasizes the Magi, thus the “Three Kings” festival on January 6th. Epiphany falls on that date according to the Eastern (Gregorian) calendar. Eastern-Christians highlight the Baptism of Jesus (thus the name “Jordan Festival”) where traditionally baptismaI water is consecrated an the eve of the festival and on the day itself a crucifix is dipped (sometimes thrown into the water to be recovered by young swimmers – regardless of the weather – and the one who retrieves the cross receives a special blessing ) into rivers, lakes and seas to bless them.

Axentowicz’s picture depicts the departure of the priest from the scene of the blessing of a lake or stream. The action takes place in a Carpathian mountain village inhabited by Carpatho-Rusyns – a Slavic population also known as Rusnaks or in particular localities as Lemkos, Boikos or Hutsuls. Some Eastern Christians, still using the old Julian calendar, would celebrate this feast 13 days later, that is: January 19th.

I. Carpatho-Slavic Publications

All publications ordered from the previous newsletter have been mailed out “book rate” already.

II. Conferences

There are a number of conferences coming up which may be of interest to readers of this newsletter. It would be good if there was some discussion of Carpatho-Slavic issues at these meetings. The principle North American organization through which one gains access to these conferences is the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (address: 8 Story Street, Cambridge, MA 02138). [ Outside North America contact your own national Slavic studies association. ] One need not be professionally employed in Slavic studies to join this organization. Its newsletter and quarterly journal, Slavic Review . have an international reputation.

1. AAASS National Convention, Seattle, Washington November 20-23, 1997 [all fields]

2. Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, New York City, June 20-21, 1997 [Lemko Region of Poland]

3. XII International Congress of Slavists, Cracow, Poland September, 1998 [ mainly language and culture ]

4. AASS National Convention, Boca Raton, Florida September 24-27, 1998 [all fields ]

5. International Council for Central and East European Studies, 5th World Congress, Tampere, England, July/August 2000 [all fields]

If you have something to say/present at one of these meetings, especially the first two (1997), please contact the secretary right away. Perhaps a “panel” session can be organized. Otherwise its useful just to attend the meetings themselves.

III. Items for this newsletter

If you have something to communicate about Carpatho-Slavic studies, in the broadest sense, please send an item in for inclusion in the next newsletter (July, 1997). You’ll reach people with like interests.

Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group
P.O. Box 3052
Westville Station
New Haven CT 06515-0152

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