December is arguably the most beautiful time of the year: Christmas is coming up, there are festive decorations hanging everywhere, some cities are covered with snow, and the holiday spirit fills in the air. During this time of year, the streets of Europe are often crowded with fun and interesting Christmas markets. People get into the Christmas spirit by selling food and warm drinks, enjoying music and gathering around the fireplace.
If you’ve got some extra vacation time (and money) and you want to make this year’s Christmas celebration extra special, you might want to head to Russia for the Moscow Winter Festival.
The winter festival coincides with many other across Russia, however the one in Moscow is the largest and most notable: it is a mixture of Russian Christmas, Russian New Year and Russian Christmastide. It’s a major cultural festival celebrated on an annual basis, and has become known as a unique Moscow winter activity. It runs from the 25th of December until the 5th of January.
You can spend the day at the Izmailovo Park where traditional Russian songs and dances are performed; you can enjoy games (sledding being one of the festival favorites), crafts, food and more, or you can go ice skating at the Gorky Park.
Your souvenirs and Christmas presents can be bought at the Revolution Square, where traditional fold crafts, Christmas ornaments and winter wear are sold.
Lastly, you can pose on pictures with big Russian ice sculpture, and take a ride in a Troika (traditional Russian harness driving combination- usually pulling a sleigh).
Nevertheless, Moscow has much more culture to offer. In the heart of the city lies the Kremlin: this beautiful building is on the ‘must see’ UNESCO World Heritage list. Another iconic place you must see is the Red Square, the site of many revolutionary moments in Russian history.
So, if you’re heading to Moscow this winter, be ready to experience a magical Winter Wonderland like you’ve never imagined.
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