Russian Word of the Day: Пир-feast

November 21, 2012

My post today will be about the holiday that I’m getting ready for.

We’re hosting our first Thanksgiving tomorrow.  We’re inviting over a group of Iranians for the dinner.  I’m excited because I love to cook.  But I’m pretty busy, устраиваю пир, (I’m putting together a feast) so I’ll keep this post short.

Пир-feast

So I read this article about Thanksgiving and it describes the Thanksgiving feast in this way:

“Пир в День благодарения стал национальной традицией в память того, что многие американцы достигли больших успехов и процветания.”

“The feast on Thanksgiving became a national tradition in memory of American success and prosperity”.

Although I don’t really like Thanksgiving food very much, I want these Iranians to experience the full traditional spread.  This article explains what that contains:

“До сих пор обед в День благодарения напоминает своими блюдами тот первый пир благодарения: как и тогда, на стол подается жареная индейка, клюквенный соус, картофель, тыквенный пирог.”

“To this day the dishes served at Thanksgiving dinner are reminiscent of the dishes served at the first feast: just like then, on the table there is roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes and pumpkin pie.”

I’m also adding in a butternut squash and mushroom lasagna.

The Bronze Horseman statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg

One of my favorite phrases with the word пир comes from the verb, пировать, meaning to feast.  This phrase comes from Pushkin’s poem Медный всадник, The Bronze Horseman.  This poem is about Peter the Great’s dreams for Saint Petersburg as he stood on the shore of the Baltic Sea.  He dreams about how Saint Petersburg will be a window to Europe and through it people from all countries will come to Russia.  And in accordance with the Russian tradition they will have a big feast in honor of their guests.

“Все флаги в гости будут к нам                    All the flags will visit us
И запируем на просторе.”                             And we will feast in the expanse
 
Alright, so ‘feast in the expanse’ doesn’t translate all that nicely.  So I’ll suggest, however unpoetic it may be, “till the cows come home”  or ‘have a right jolly good time’.  
 
Anyway, I better get going. Tomorrow this flag is coming to us
И запируем на просторе…

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