Muscovites who have not found their soul mate yet are invited to libraries to meet or to have a first date. 14 February is a Tuesday this year, and urban libraries run by the Department of Culture will be open from noon to 10 pm.
“On Valentine’s Day, we invite Muscovites of various ages to the city’s libraries, if they want to find their soul mate. Libraries have prepared special activities for the holiday,” Acting Director General of the Directorate of Cultural Centres Vladimir Vladimirov said. “Libraries today are open spaces to have a good and useful time. They are becoming popular among young people.”
According to Vladimirov, there are some cases when readers meet at libraries and make friends. “At the Anna Akhmatova Central Library in Krylatksoye, a librarian long watched a young man and woman who used only the book crossing shelf. It turned out that they left notes in books to each other with their impressions of these books,” he said.
Muscovites are invited to come and meet one another at all urban libraries. Over 20 libraries have prepared special activities for Valentine’s Day.
On 10 February, Alexander Grin Library No. 122 on Volochayevskaya Street (Southeastern Administrative Area) will launch Assol’s mail, a modern version of Juliet’s mail in Verona. Visitors will be able to make valentines, write their soul mate’s email on it and put it in the mailbox. Then, the library staff will email these valentines to recipients.
Library No. 146 on General Belov Street (Southern Administrative Area) will offer the Literary Love game. Participants will have to answer questions about characters of different films and cartoons. Then, the Soviet film Valentin and Valentina about the love of two 18-year-olds will be screened. In addition, 14 February is International Book Giving Day, so all visitors will receive books. The event will start at 5 pm.
Guests will be able to have some tea, share romantic stories and learn about the history of Valentine’s Day at Dobrolyubov Library No. 3 on Novy Arbat Street (Central Administrative Area) at 3 pm.
Library No. 196 on Simferopolsky Boulevard (Southwestern Administrative Area) will offer workshops on making origami valentines at 4.30 pm. The Svetlov Library on Bolshaya Sadovaya Street (Central Administrative Area) will hold competitions and games at 6.30 pm.
The Bogolyubov Art Library on Sushchyovskaya Street (Central Administrative Area) will present the Tristan and Isolde literary and musical performance. Visitors will listen to excerpts from the medieval courtly romance about the love between British soldier Tristan and Irish princess Isolde at 1 pm. Chernyshevsky Library No. 13 on Kosmodamianskaya Embankment (Central Administrative Area) will offer a mandala dance lesson. This is an oriental women’s dance with meditation elements, which help one to relax, forget about stress and achieve harmony. The lessons will start at 4 pm.
The Likhachyov Cultural Centre on Amurskaya Street (Eastern Administrative Area) will host a classical piano concert, Everything Begins with Love, at 2 pm. Library No. 180 (Southwestern Administrative Area) a concert featuring poems and songs about love: “Chrysanthemums in the Garden Faded Long Ago,” “Fragrant White Acacia Flowers” (The White Guard film), “I Met You” (based on Fyodor Tyutchev’s poem) and “Stay with Me,” at 11.30 am.
Activities devoted to Valentine’s Day will be held at over 20 Moscow libraries until 22 February. For more information, visit the official website of the Directorate of Cultural Centres.
This year, Moscow libraries hosted New Year festivities for the first time, including free interactive competitions, creative lessons and workshops.
Also, 10 libraries hold professional photo sessions. Anyone can be photographed in the 19th century blue living room at Bogolyubov Art Library, a hall with high ceilings and a fireplace at the Nikolai Gogol House, a spiral staircase at the Ivan Turgenev Library and modern reading rooms at the Nikolai Nekrasov Library. Photographers who want to take pictures at a library just have to agree on a time and place with the curators of libraries.