ST. PETERSBURG, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Russia's cultural capital St. Petersburg Monday celebrated the 177th anniversary of the death of its greatest son, the poet and national cultural icon Alexander Pushkin.
Several hundred people laid flowers and joined in a minute's silence at the house where Pushkin spent his last days, now converted into a museum.
The observance of a minute's silence at the precise time of the poet's death, 14:45 local time, is an unbroken tradition continued by locals even during the Nazi Siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1944.
Meanwhile, in the Chyornaya Rechka district of the city, crowds gathered at the obelisk commemorating the famous duel in which Pushkin lost his life in 1837.
A series of poetry readings and other Pushkin-related cultural events have been organized across the city to commemorate the anniversary.
Pushkin is widely regarded as the father of modern Russian language and literature, serving as an inspiration to subsequent Russian authors including Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov and poets of the so-called Silver Age in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Pushkin's most famous work, Eugene Onegin, tells the story of a young man's coming of age, and is widely regarded as Russia's national poem.
Ballet and opera adaptations of the story are routinely performed in St. Petersburg theaters and on stages all over the world. A popular local adage informs the foreign visitor that " Pushkin is our everything."