Finally the fathers of both families would seal the pact formally by wrapping their hands in their coats and striking them together. In closing the deal the newly betrothed couple would be blessed by the family ikon.
In 1900 Petersburg traditions were changing and the idea of romantic love - as promoted by popular novels and serials in the papers - had taken hold. Although the press presented these soap-opera like serials as moral tales warning young women of the dangers of love, they actually had the opposite effect. From 1850 onwards young people read about the tragedy and joy of romantic love - along with veiled allusions to the power of its' physical pleasures. These ideas were particularly surprising to people who had just arrived from the village. They still maintained strong ties to the village community and usually planned to return home for important decisions such as marriage partners.
Next photograph: May in St. Petersburg
For a small map of the St. Petersburg area click here.
To see a large map of the center
of St. Petersburg go here.
Comments on the website should be sent to Bob