Ukraine’s Painted Eggs: An Ancient Art

Ukraine’s Painted Eggs: An Ancient Art

Ukrainian decorated eggs are gorgeous and make great gifts, but watching local artisans create them is even more amazing. In Ukrainian, these brilliantly-decorated eggs are called pysanky, from the verb “to write.” Designs aren't painted, but instead drawn on with melted wax using a pinpoint stylus. The symbols, motifs and chosen colors on the finished eggs have specific meanings and originally could be read as messages from different regions of the country. Read More


Russian Reprise: The Bells Toll Again from Moscow’s Kazan Cathedral (VIDEOS)

Russian Reprise: The Bells Toll Again from Moscow’s Kazan Cathedral (VIDEOS)

The bells are back, with Russia's venerable Kazan Cathedral restored on Moscow's Red Square. Demolished by Stalin in Soviet times, it was rebuilt in 1993. Enjoy this video and hear the complex patterns and rhythms ring out from the bell tower, inviting all to pause, and to listen. Read More


Hot Town, Summer in the City: Irkutsk, Siberia

Hot Town, Summer in the City: Irkutsk, Siberia

Spending a summer day in Siberia, Russia may very well shatter any preconceived notions you may have about this part of the world, thought of as inhospitable, frigid, and forlorn. Here are some of the experiences Irkutsk has to offer on a sunny summer day... Read More



Christmas Traditions in Poland: Waiting for Wigilia

Christmas Traditions in Poland: Waiting for Wigilia

Christmas Eve is celebrated in countless ways around the world, beyond simply giving and receiving presents. In Poland, Christmas Eve is festive and there's a bit of magic, as well as profound meaning in every holiday ritual. With MIR, you can celebrate it by joining a Polish family in their Warsaw home for the intimate Christmas Eve feast, Wigilia, complete with a home-cooked meal of 12 different traditional dishes. Read More


Center Stage: Kazan’s Legendary Opera Star, Fyodor Shalyapin (VIDEOS)

Center Stage: Kazan’s Legendary Opera Star, Fyodor Shalyapin (VIDEOS)

A MIR traveler shares a video of a Trans-Siberian highlight: Kazan, Tatarstan, home to Russia' legendary opera star, Fyodor Shalyapin, with a concert from his repertoire. Famous for his portrayal of Boris in Mussorgsky's opera, "Boris Gudonov," Shalyapin also sang folk songs, including a 1902 recording of "Song of the Volga Boatmen" that skyrocketed him to fame, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Ride the Rails at Siberia’s Lake Baikal (VIDEO)

A Traveler’s Tale: Ride the Rails at Siberia’s Lake Baikal (VIDEO)

A MIR passenger shoots video riding the rails of the Trans-Siberian Railway's Circumbaikal Route, as it rolls along the shoreline of Siberia's legendary Lake Baikal. For many train buffs, this scenic Circumbaikal leg is a childhood dream: a rock-n-roll ride of rails, 33 tunnels and more than 200 bridges and viaducts. Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Hear the Songs of Siberia’s Old Believers (VIDEOS)

A Traveler’s Tale: Hear the Songs of Siberia’s Old Believers (VIDEOS)

An unforgettable highlight in Siberia is listening to the polyphonic singing of Old Believers, exiled here in the 17th century for their religious beliefs. Read More