About Baptism Day of Kyivan Rus
Ukraine, Russia and Belarus on July 28th celebrate Baptism Day of Kyivan Rus, marking 1,000 years since the death of Kyiv's Prince Volodymyr the Great.
Volodymyr ruled Kyivan Rus from the year 980 to 1015. Kyiv was the first city in ancient Rus to adopt Christianity.
In 988, the Slavic ruler had the entire population of ancient Rus' baptised in the river Dnepr, rendering the peoples one Christian nation according to Byzantine Orthodox tradition.
For the past 11 years, this anniversary has been honoured with a national holiday in the three countries that share Kiev's heritage.
On July 28th, all the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate ring their bells at noon, playing the melody "Glory to Thee, O God!". The hymn is sung not only in Russia but also in the patriarchal churches of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.