Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Christmas 2014

Today, January 7, is Christmas in Russia. It also happens to be my birthday. Which means that my birthday has always fallen on a public holiday during my stay in Russia. Nice, as it means Wendy and I have the day off. 

Winter has been very mild so far this year. Some snow fell in mid-December, but since then the temperatures have been hovering around zero and the footpaths are generally clear of snow and ice. There is also green grass visible in some parks. 

The adults had their fun over New Year, and Christmas is about kids. I don’t typically see many children about in Moscow, but they were much in evidence when we went walking this morning. I think they head off to visit babochka (granny) and see kids shows at the theatres. Unlike Christmas in Australia, most of the shops and cafes seemed to be open. 

From what I can see, Muscovites are not unaware that Christmas in most of Europe is celebrated on 25 December, so they do tend to double dip the celebrations a bit. 

Moscow is pretty quiet this time of the year. Many people have left the city and, for a couple of weeks, it is almost always possible to get a seat on the Metro.

Whoever is in charge of such things has decided that this year many of the trees in the parks in central Moscow would be covered in blue and white fairy lights. An extraordinary amount of effort has gone in to these decorations. The park at Kitai Gorad, through which we walk to on the way to work, is lit up like a fairyland – as it is dark until about 10am at the moment, these lights are a welcome delight on what might otherwise often be a gloomy morning trudge. 

Christmas lights in Kitai Gorad park
Many more Christmas markets, somewhat similar to the Weihnachtmarkts of Germany & Austria, have also been introduced. A welcome touch, though they need to work on their Gluhwein – it’s more like soft drink.

Pushkin Square

More decorations in Pushkin Square
When too much is never enough

Christmas lights in Revolution Square, opposite the Bolshoi Theatre (centre). TSUM (with the sign on the right) is an expensive department store.

Christmas shop window display in TSUM

1 comment:

  1. Great blog and information! I'm no Russian language expert, but I "think" you mean babushka not babochka (which is butterfly). They do sound similar but...