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RUSSIAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Russian Souvenirs

5af4443ccb4093885ff1d533cf77c56aMATRYOSHKA , or a famous Russian Nesting Doll is perhaps the first to come to mind when Russian souvenirs are mentioned.

A set of Matryoshka dolls consists of wooden dolls of different size put into each other. Matryoshkas were so-called after the then popular Russian name Matryona which is derived from the Latin word “mater” -”“mother of the family, a wealthy lady”). Matryoshka symbolizes the motherhood spirit and fertility of the Russian land, eternity of the world and wealth: a mother gives birth to a daughter, then her granddaughter is born, and so life continues.
That is why, traditionally, Russian matryoshkas depict young girls and women wearing Russian sarafans and colorful kerchiefs. Though nowadays Matryoshkas often depict someone famous: celebrities like political leaders or famous athletes, cartoon or movie characters and so on.
In our time nesting dolls can suit any budget and taste. They come any size, in both the classic and avant-garde form. A matryoshka is well-made when the dolls fit snugly into one another and the two parts of each doll fit closely. The painting must be straight and solid, and the doll must be a beauty.
For many years matryoshkas have served as sources of joy and surprise and that mission remains unchanged to this day.

«FLOWERS OF RUSSIA ON YOUR SHOULDERS!» this motto of the платокshawl factory in Pavlovo Posad can perfectly well describe the products of that world-famous manufacturer.
The multiple award winning shawls from Pavlosky Posad are highly sought after because of their high quality. They are popular both nationally and world-wide.
A shawl or a stole will not become one more nice knickknack to be left and forgotten on a shelf. These things are very attractive, practical, affordable and durable. They can be used as an accessory as well as decoration of interior.
The Pavlovo Posad Shawl factory is situated a few dozen miles from Moscow in an ancient town of Pavlovsky Posad. The factory has been making inspiring wool and silk garments since it first opened its doors in 1795.
Every year, Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory manufactures about 800 kinds of shawls, handkerchiefs, scarves, stoles, wraps, mufflers, tablecloths from natural fibers: wool, linen, silk and cotton.
The fact that the enterprise has been given the status of a national art craft of Russia means recognition of the high artistic and cultural value of its products.
Many things change, time and fashion. What is considered as a recognizable style of the Pavlo Posad shawls is a large scale image of the flowers collected in bouquets, garlands or scattered across the field of a scarf on a black or red background, sometimes with addition of an ornament and the stylized vegetable elements. Along with the development of the classical line, new modern patterns appear. The color structure of the products changes in accordance with new trends and styles. The color gamut is built on a harmonious combination of closely approximated tones with predominance of beige, ochreous, brown and greenish shades.

AMBER or GOLD of the BALTIC SEA, as it is commonly referred to, could be originalfound in souvenir shops in a wide variety of sizes and styles.
One of the most intriguing explanation of what amber is says that amber «is a liquid produced by the rays of the sun; and that these rays, at the moment of the sun’s setting, striking with the greatest force upon the surface of the soil, leave upon it an unctuous sweat, which is carried off by the tides of the ocean, and thrown up upon the shores”. There is another version associated with the Lithuanian legend about the queen of the sea called Juratė, who falls in love with a fisherman Kastytis. Her jealous father punishes his daughter by destroying her amber palace and changing her into sea foam. The pieces of the Juratė’s palace can still be found on the Baltic shore. According to another myth, when Phaeton son of Helios (the Sun) was killed, his mourning sisters became trees, and their tears became elektron, amber.
Amber is fossilized sap from extinct pine trees. At first, it is liquid which due to processes of oxidation and polymerisation has gradually hardened into amber over many years time. The age of some Baltic amber varies from 35 to 60 million years. Amber has been used since the stone age, from 13,000 years ago. Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across Europe. Though it is known that it was used by way of fuel much earlier. It also has been used as incense for thousands of years because it smells wonderful.
The biggest known deposits of amber are situated in the Baltic region. The highest amounts of Baltic Amber are found in the coast line of Baltic and North Sea. About 90% of he world’s amber comes from Kaliningrad region of Russia, which is situated near the Baltic Sea. Baltic Amber is considered to be the most valuable since it contains Succinic Acid.
Amber has a few properties and characteristics that are unique. It is warm unlike other gemstones. Also it is light in weight only about 1/3 of a stone and floats in salty water, which by the way helps to determine if it is genuine or fake. Another feature is that this natural resin contains acid known as succinct acid which is responsible for a couple of different processes in the body and it quite commonly used for pain relief and arthritis. One more quite unique feature of amber is that when it is rubbed against natural cloth, it attracts tiny pieces of paper as it electrifies negatively. That is also why it has medical benefits.
Health benefits of amber have been known for thousand of years and people believed that it can help to treat many different medical conditions. Jewelry made of amber are believed to work effectively for lessening pain in neck, head, joints and throat areas. Necklaces made of amber are very popular among parents who want a natural solution for baby’s teething as well as drooling. Bracelets can minimize pain of arthritis and rheumatism. Wearing amber jewelry can help to overcome anxiety and fatigue. Amber collars are becoming more and more popular among cat and dog owners, they work by electrifying animal hair and diffusing a specific smell when they are heated by animals skin which in turn is not very appealing to ticks and fleas and helps to eliminate parasites.
When wearing amber jewelry it is essential to make sure that it is in contact with some part of your body. This is important because amber is able to release succinic acid only when it is warm from the contact of skin. Only genuine amber posses all these features.
It is quite easy to forge amber as various materials -stain glass, epoxy, plastic can be used for a faking. Melted amber which after the procedure of pressing, also turns into something absolutely other, but not into a gift of gods in any way. So-called young pitches (resinous substances in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening) such as Copal are the most widespread and also often used to forging.
There are several ways to tests amber and to distinguish genuine amber from fake one. Though choosing one of these tests especially when you are testing expensive amber stone or jewelry it is important to keep in mind that some of the tests like cutting, scratching, burning, using hot needle might leave marks or ruin your amber gemstone. It is worthwhile to pay attention to the price since usually what is too good to be true, it probably is. Reputable and trustworthy sellers will provide certificates of amber authenticity.
Amber, its natural beauty and health benefits have been appreciated by a lot of people. Amber’s place in culture and tradition lends it a tourism value.