Moveover New York, Sydney and London, if anyone knows how to celebrate the New Years its Moscow, Russia! 31st December is one big celebration in Russia as its Christmas and New Years Eve rolled in one and of course the biggest celebrations are in Moscow, Russia’s biggest city.
Its New Years and Christmas celebrations rolled in one! During Soviet time Christmas was cancelled and instead New Years was made a huge holiday. Even today though many celebrate Orthodox Christmas on 7th January the biggest celebrations still happen on 31st December. Besides Fabulous Fireworks in the Red Square at the stroke of midnight other interesting traditions like putting our decorated New Year trees are followed.
The city offers fantastic parties and public transport remains operational till late making it easy to hop from one festivity to another. From big mega events hosted at upscale venues and night clubs to sophisticated ballet performances, Moscow offers a varied variety of celebrations.
Moscow also serves as a great hop off point visit other parts of Russia. There are towns where you can see the Northern lights or Aurora Bouralis, then there is the Trans Siberian train journey considered one of the top train journeys in the world and a chance to see Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in Asia frozen and serving as a glistening surface to skate and drive on alongwith spectacular ice caves to explore.
Temperature in Moscow fluctuates between -10 °C to -4°C and it can get windy. It snows almost 20days in January so if you are looking to see your first snowfall then this is the place for you. Dress right and there is no such thing as bad weather and Moscow is at its most fashionable in January. You will also get about 1 hour of sunlight and 7 -8 hours of daylight in January in Moscow.
Thousands gather in Moscow’s Red Square with sparkling wine or vodka to see the spectacular fireworks which light up the Kremlin and the night sky at the stroke of Midnight. If you prefer a less crowded experience then there are more fireworks in different parks and garden later in the night.
Ded Moroz ( Grandfather Frost) who is the Russian Santa along with his Granddaughter (Snegurochka) bring presents to children on this day. You will see children hold hand and stand around the New Years Trees calling for Ded Moroz and his Granddaughter to appear with gifts.
Official Christmas holidays in Russia are celebrated from 31st December to 10th January. During this period generally till the 2nd of January you get free admission to most museums and galleries which are generally quite expensive.
Since this period is one big celebration you will find many festivals to enjoy. There are ice festivals like the Ice Sculpture festival at Gorky Park, Christmas markets and in general the city looks gorgeous decorated in lights and festive ornaments.
Even though summer is a popular time to visit Moscow, the winter activities are equally fun if not more. Sledging, Snowmobile rides, snow shoeing, skiing and ice skating are some of the winter activities to enjoy during Moscow winters.