Moscow looks stunning; Moscow shines with hundreds and thousands of lights, an uncountable number of Christmas trees and a lot of colourful crafts showcased in the lavishly decorated stalls. New Year in Moscow is something different.
Christmas is yet to come in Russia but the New Year is already here and joyfully celebrated. New Year’s Eve is a very important holiday for all Russians. It is almost like Christmas Eve – a family holiday when the table is covered with traditional meals and a lot of dancing and drinking takes place the whole night.
Welcoming the New Year in Moscow is Challenging but Rewarding Experience
Being in this period in Moscow is something that you will always remember. It is challenging and so much rewarding. While your body fights to adapt to the cold climate, your soul is in awe of all beauty and culture you encounter at every step. The city centre is like a winter wonderland, even if there is no snowfall yet and the strict security measures.
Moscow’s Red Square is the top place to celebrate the New Year’s Eve if you like public celebrations. The atmosphere is like nowhere else. The authenticity comes from the frozen Moscow River, the magnificent fireworks show over Kremlin, the Russian speech around you; the music and even in the drunk man who nevertheless is somehow funny and cheerful.
The year I was in Moscow, we were not allowed to be at the Red Square on the New Years’ Eve. The security measures were taken to prevent big crowds to be exposed to terrorism attacks. Even so, lining along the Moskva River and watching from there the fireworks was as spectacular as you can imagine. The only people who might have been better positioned were the ones on the river cruise ships.
Shopping in Moscow
The central shopping centre GUM was decorated in such bountiful and magnificent way that it felt like entering fairytale, not a mall. Even if the decoration was a little bit too much for my taste, it made me feel like a child – gigantic chocolate candies in colourful packaging were hanging over the hall, enormous tangerines were making them a company.
The enormous Christmas tree that took place in the middle of the beautiful store was surrounded by glittering stalls selling shiny Christmas decoration elements. And the handsome Ded Moroz (Santa) was so tall and cheerful that all the girls (small and older) were waiting patiently to have a photo with him. Christmas & New Year’s time is magical here!!!
Many Christmas markets (bazaars, as they call them here) can be found all over Moscow. The largest and most beautiful one is of course at the Red Square. Large choice of traditional and winter style matryoshka in various sizes, beautiful Russian scarves made 100% from wool can be found too. They are excellent for adding some authentic style to your outfit and keeping some practical and beautiful souvenir from your visit to Russia.
Christmas Trees and Decoration
In Russia, Christmas comes after the New Year. That gives you the chance to welcome the year and experience the Russian Christmas traditions too.
There is a countless number of Christmas trees all over the capital. Some of them are plastic, artificial, but many are real and have the refreshing smell of pine resin. Many people are in fur coats and hats, just like in Russian movies. It definitely adds something special to the holidays.
My New Year’s Eve ended with the fireworks over Kremlin and a glass of Russian Gluhwine. The wishes are whispered and the hopes are at their places. Hope your New Year’s Eve will be also wonderful and full of love and joy!
Use your New Year in Moscow holiday to explore the Russian capital and its secret places. Get to know the local cuisine while taking advantage of the Moscow City Pass to visit some of the world-famous museums that the city has to offer.
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