Poster announcing this years White Flower Day at Livadia
Livadia Palace, situated near Yalta in the Crimea was the setting for the White Flower Day on Sunday, May 19th. The tradition of this charitable sale originated in the early twentieth century by the last Empress of Russia, Alexandra Feodorona.
Beginning in 1911, the whole community took part including members of the Imperial family and the nobility who were vacationing at their palaces in the region, and the local townsfolk. They flocked in numbers to contribute to the good deeds by buying bouquets of white daisies, paying what they could whether it was a few kopecks or hundreds of rubles. Each donation helped alleviate the suffering of those in need. The grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and their little brother Alexis eagerly assisted their mother at the open stalls.
The noble cause was reinstituted in 2005, and has since been held annually on the second Sunday after Easter. The event is held at the Church of the Exaltation at Livadia Palace. Money collected in this year's auction will be spent on new equipment and the training of nurses at a new retirement home to be opened in the territory of the Yalta City Hospital, as well as helping the poor and sick to fight tuberculosis.
The symbol of this holiday is the white daisy, which today is distributed to all who make a donation. The people of Yalta took an active interest in the event, including the local women who donated their baked goods, handicrafts and flowers, while local school children donated their drawings, and handicrafts made of white flowers.
White Flower Day at the Martha Mary Convent in Moscow. Photo credit: Pravmir.ru
White Flower Day is held in a growing number of cities across Russia, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 May, 2013