From ship to the dance floor: What to see at Times & Epochs festival

From ship to the dance floor: What to see at Times & Epochs festival
The Times & Epochs festival has prepared a comprehensive programme featuring hussars, court ladies, Native Americans and Confederate soldiers. has produced a guide to the first few days’ events to help visitors find their way around.

The Times & Epochs festival kicked off in Moscow on Friday, 10 August, and will last until 22 August. The festival’s 30 venues will offer re-enactments of various major historical events and scenes from the everyday lives of representatives of different epochs. The programme also features games from past eras, craft workshops, tasty treats prepared from ancient recipes and the most unusual retro souvenirs.

Festival organisers have surprises in store from the very first day: visitors will see historic costumes, dance the polonaise at a real ball, learn about the everyday life of the hussars and Native Americans, and take part in many other events. This guide gives details of activities held during the first two first days of the festival.

Exhibition of historical costumes

An exhibition of historical costumes is being held at The Eclectic Revolution venue, near the Presnya Museum at 4/2 Bolshoi Predtechensky Pereulok. Russian and French re-enactors have brought replicas and original costumes from the 18th to early 20th centuries.

Replicas of civilian clothing worn by different classes have been handmade from materials similar to the original ones. Among the exhibits are walking clothes, eveningwear and court dresses, casual and formal menswear, as well as children’s clothing and swimsuits.

The collection will be divided into four periods. From 10 to 12 August, late 19th century clothing will be on show while on 13 and 14 August, the exhibition will present 18th century costumes. Clothes from the first half of the 19th century will be displayed between 15 and 17 August and on the concluding days of the festival, from 18 to 22 August, festival goers will see outfits from the first half of the 20th century.

The exhibition is open throughout the festival.

European ball

An evening of dance will take place at Peter the Great’s Grand Embassy at 18 Pokrovsky Boulevard from 4 pm to 8 pm on 11 August. It will be a spectacular ball in the style of the European nobility. Re-enactors and festival goers will dance to the music of the 17th-18th centuries and will be able to try out the polonaise.

Seafaring lessons

On the same day, between 6 pm and 7 pm on Chistoprudny Boulevard, guests will have the chance to join a ship crew at the Viking Era Shipyard venue. Everyone aged 18 and older can take part. They will learn basic seafaring skills and attend physical fitness classes, play active games and participate in a historical quiz. The most successful will be selected to compete in the final contest against a team of re-enactors.

Native Americans’ Day

A day dedicated to the Native American peoples inhabiting the Great Plains will take place at the North and South: Civil War venues on Yauzsky Boulevard at 12 noon-8 pm on 12 August. Guests will learn about the life and traditions of the indigenous population of North American: the Indians of the Great Plains. This was a 19th century culture, uniting over 50 tribes inhabiting the central part of the USA: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Muscogee, Choctaw and others.

The American Civil War of 1861-1865 not only radically changed the history of the United States, but also affected its indigenous peoples. Some 20,000 Indians took part in the war, with 8,000-9,000 on the side of the Union and 11,000-12,000 supporting the Confederate forces.

On the Day of the Plains Indians, festival goers will peek into a traditional tipi tent and learn how it is made. The guides will tell them about the men’s and women’s halves of the tipi, rooms for receiving guests, weapons storage, and where and how to transfer holy items and artefacts inside the tent. Guests will also see and take part in Indian dances, listen to the traditional songs reminiscent of the sounds of nature, and see a reenactment of a shamanic ritual.

Russian-French march

A joint festive infantry and cavalry procession of Russian and French troops will take place on Tverskoy Boulevard, from 11 am to 9 pm on 12 August. Every three hours, visitors to the Napoleonic Wars venue will be able to watch festive marches to the sound of flute and drums. Re-enactors of infantry and cavalry troops from Russia and France will take part in the processions to honour the shared history and contemporary friendship between the two states and commemorate the tragic events of 1812.

Between the marches, visitors will be able to learn about life in a military camp and talk to festival participants. They will attend free French classes and be treated to jam prepared by sutlers. Commanders will speak about the main battles of the Napoleonic Wars, and hussars will demonstrate how victories were celebrated, with dances and the opening of champagne bottles with a sabre.