Moscow may seem like an unusual Christmas destination, but it is a very beautiful city with plenty to see and do. And because it is usually below freezing during the winter months, there is very likely to be snow on the ground when you visit.
According to the Gregorian calendar, Christmas in Russia falls during the first week of January, but the city celebrate it on Dec. 25 like most of the world. The Russian Orthodox Church plays a key role in the festivities and there is plenty to see and do. Here are some things you can look forward to.
Journey Into Christmas Festival
This annual event starts on Dec. 22 and it includes holiday appropriate activities. The festival is spread over 30 different venues and guests can go from place to place enjoying theater shows, art classes, dance and more.
Thousands of lights are put around the city to welcome the festival. Hot spots that are sure to be decked out include the Kremlin, Tverskaya Ulitsa and Tverskoy Bulvar.
Ice Theater at Novopushkinsky Public Garden
The Novopushkinsky Public Garden is a scenic spot any time of year. During the winter, it features an ice rink where performances take place regularly. At Christmastime, you can expect to see the шчыпцы для арэхаў, Swan Lake, Cipollini and other classics.
Moscow is a prodigy when it comes to ice theater so you know you will be seeing the best of the best.
Moskva Fair on Tverskaya Ploshchad
There are many Christmas fairs that take place throughout the city, but the one at Tverskaya Ploshchad is one of the most notable. It features exquisite decorations and there are hundreds of stalls where you can buy food, Christmas items and souvenirs. There are also recreational stalls where children can hang out and play.
Kremlin Russian Christmas Market
Another fair worth checking out is the Red Square Christmas Market. With the majestic Kremlin in the background, it makes for majestic scenic views. It is also filled with stalls where you can buy souvenirs and cultural items like Matryoshka Dolls and Khokhloma painted toys. The stalls are spread around skating rinks where you can have some fun between shopping.
Red Square Christmas Tree
Moscow will be abound with Christmas trees during holiday time, but you won’t want to miss the one at Red Square. The tree is picked by experts each year to ensure it is the right height and aesthetically beautiful. It features lights and decorations that make it a memorable visual experience.
Eat Russian Christmas Specialties
While in Moscow, you will want to check out the unique Russian cuisine. At Christmastime, the restaurants serve up traditional holiday dishes like
· Olivier Salad (contains potatoes, eggs, carrots, pickles, peas, meat, apples and mayonnaise)
· deviled eggs,
· Pirozhki (stuffed beans)
· dried mushroom soup,
· Kulebyaka (Russian salmon pie)
· Pelmeni (Russian meat dumplings)
· Kutya/sochivo (a sweet fruity cereal)
· Vzvar (fruit compote made of dried fruit)
· Priyaniki (Russian імбірны пернік cookies)
· Kolyadki (Russian Christmas cookies with curd cheese)
· Pampushky (Ukranian donuts)
· Kiev Cake (which has a nutty flavor)
The best places to enjoy these dishes is at restaurants like Lepim I Varim, Severyane and Pasticceria Don Guilio.
Dorogomilovsky Market Christmas
This market is another great food destination. You can enjoy traditional food like meats, kholodets, pies, pierogies, kalachi, blinis, kompots, kissel and more.
Ded Moroz Parade
Ded Moroz might sound kind of spooky but it actually means Санта Клаўс in Russian. People come to the festival dressed as Santa and march in the parade. Spectators can take in the colors, sights and sounds of this unique experience.
White Christmas Destination
Moscow is likely to be white for Christmas and that means there are plenty of winter activities for people to partake in. Visit Revolyutsii Square to take rides on the giant ice slide while enjoying views of the Kremlin. You will also want to check out the White Theater on Klimentovsky lane, a Christmas market that features an immersive theatrical performance. Parks are beautifully decorated and lakes are frozen so the city looks like a winter wonderland.