For many it’s just the beginning of the New Year, going back to School; but not so for St Leonards Russian pupils. The Russian Church follows a different calendar which trails the western one by 13 days, making 7 January Christmas Day. That is why, amazingly, Russian students at St Leonards have an opportunity to celebrate their Christmas...in Scotland!
It is the second year this event has been organised by Helen Molchanoff and Andrew Threipland of Fingask Castle together with St Leonards. Thirteen students from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine attended the service led by Father Andrei of the Romanian Orthodox Church, who travelled especially all the way from Aberdeen. With candles, icons, and a choir at the intimate and beautiful little Chapel in Fingask, Father Andrei delivered his service in English.
After the service the students were invited to partake in a magnificent Christmas spread with haggis and tatties, and also the traditional Russian Christmas dish of "Kytia" (which was made with Arabic, Russian and Scottish ingredients). Afterwards, they had an opportunity to explore a real Scottish Castle.
At the end of a lovely Christmas, built on the hospitality of Fingask Castle and words of wisdom from Father Andrei, happy students headed "home" to St Leonards. It was, a true Scottish Russian Christmas...