Duration: 5 hours
Season: All the year round
Language: English, German, Mandarin, Mongolian
Tour type: Ethnic tourism
Tour price: from 3500 rub per person
Take a tour to the Old Believers – Russian people, who still live traditionally in a small community in the Buryat Republic.
The Old Believers separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon of Moscow between 1652 and 1666. They have continued liturgical practices that the Russian Orthodox Church maintained before the implementation of these reforms. As any deviation from the correct Nikonian Orthodox was punishable by death, many of the Old Believers went into voluntary exile to Siberia, and some emigrated.
Another name of this people — Semeyskie or Family People — was given because they moved to Siberia with their big families. These special people keep the traditions of their ancestors and have a unique identity.
Their faith is the pre-17th century Russian Orthodox Christianity. They believe that the modern Russian Orthodox Church has lost the true faith and there are no true priests. The Old Believers do not share many views of the contemporary Russian Church.
The Old Believers are very hard working. In the old times, they were prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking, tea drinking. Even today, some of their customs may seem as relics of much older and simpler times. Their way of life is very different from what urbanite Russians got used to. They managed to preserve their pride of hard work, spiritual faith in God, connection with the Mother Nature, and family values.
The phenomenon of the Old Believers is that they are like an alternate version of the modern Russians. They are the Russians, which weren’t changed by revolutions, the years of Soviet indoctrination and capitalism of the 2000s.
Many visitors come to Buryatia only for the tour to the Old Believers, to see their way of life, as if leapt from the pages of a history book. Today, there are over a hundred thousand Old Believers living in communities in Buryatia.
Description of the tour to the Old Believers:
1. Hotel pick up and transfer to Tarbagatai village (35 km). You can choose the time of the departure between 10.00 and 12.00 in the morning. However, the best time is 10.00 am.
2. Introduction to the culture and way of life of the Old Believers
3. Visit to an Old Believers house
4. Folk performance
5. Lunch with traditional cuisine
6. Photo shoot in Old Believer costumes
7. Participation in ansient rites and games
8. Transfer to Ulan-Ude
Price of the tour to the Old Believers: from 3500 rub per person
2 PAX – 5200 Rub
3-5 PAX – 4500 Rub
6 and more PAX – 3500 Rub
The price includes:
– Hotel pick up/drop off
– Transfer to Tarbagatai village
– Tour of the village and local community museum
– Folk performance
The price doesn’t include:
Interpreter (English, German, Mandarin, Mongolian) – from 3,000 RUB per group
Other Ulan-Ude and Buryat Republic tours:
Three-day Baikal fishing tour will bring you to Chivyrkuysky bay, where the best Baikal fishing spots are concentrated. In addition, you will experience traditional Russian banya (steam room) and enjoy the meal made of freshly caught Baikal fish.
On the three-day tour “Pilgrim Track: A Visit to Khambo Lama Itygelov”, you will discover the world of the lama, learn the phenomenon of his imperishable body, as well as pave your own spiritual path.
Transiting through Ulan-Ude to Lake Baikal or traveling by Trans-Siberian Railroad? Reserve the Ulan-Ude sightseeing tour and enjoy a memorable visit.