July 8, 2009

Russia marks family holiday

Charity concerts were held in Moscow and across Russia Wednesday to mark the country's official Day of Married Love and Family Happiness.

Moscow hosted concerts, crafts and other events aimed at orphans, newlyweds and elderly couples while Orthodox churches said special prayers for the well being of families and the country, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

The holiday coincided with the Orthodox church's Peter and Fevronia Day, named for the patron saints of married couples.

The family is a source of love, understanding and respect. It makes people's lives emotionally and spiritually fuller, Russian first lady Svetlana Medvedev said in the town of Murom, where tradition holds the saints are buried.

She said the national holiday has become popular even among those of other faiths and non-believers.