It's that time of year again... April means "Spring Cleaning" for the city.
Parks need to be spruced up, flowers planted, fences painted, etc. Ergo, it's the season for "subbotniki"— Saturdays when people volunteer their time to do this work. Signs around the city have been advertising the two main dates coming up, April 17th and 24th.
The first субботник was in 1919, started by Lenin to help complete the railways. Communist party members and supporters enthusiastically chipped in. Before long, these occasional Saturdays (usually in the Spring) were mandatory and you had to pretend you just loved participating.
Even though they're no longer obligatory, the tradition has stuck. Lenin's birthday, April 22nd, is usually sandwiched between working Saturdays. Last year some people from our building planted bushes in the patch of grass in front of our building. Ah, such lovely targets for peeing dogs ever since, but I digress...
Last Saturday teenagers arrived en masse at our local park with rakes and shovels.
They seemed to really have a good time!
The middle school/junior high I attended in Connecticut had "Family Fall Work Day," and I remember what fun we all had raking leaves on a Saturday...
It's nice to be able to ride scooters again and walk around without either freezing or falling in puddles of mud!