Another adventure in the books! Celebrating the New Year in Russia included all the experiences I had imagined, and more.
A little background: New Year’s Eve is the most anticipated and exciting holiday of all here in Russia. Imagine combining what we call the “secular” part of our Christmas with the festivities of ringing in the new year. Home are decorated with garlands, yolkas (New Year’s trees), and lights. Tables are set with the best linens and china. Traditional food abounds (even more than usual), and friends and relatives gather together for games, gift exchanges, and greeting neighbors. Sometime during the evening, they bundle up for a walk to the main square where there’s a party going on for the whole evening and through the night. Fireworks are shooting off all over the place. Even in the play yard below Alla’s apartment. They burst right outside my bedroom window on the 11th floor. That was a trip.
There are the TV programs too–with entertainers and the countdown until midnight. While small kids are distracted, Grandfather Frost drops off gifts. People are happy and optimistic–letting go of the woes of 2013 and grabbing on to the hope of better things in the year to come.
So…I did all this! Wow! It still seems surreal that my dream of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Russia has come true.
Even more meaningful than being amidst all the festivities was sharing this time with many of my nearest and dearest here. The warmth and gracious hospitality and care truly touched me and blessed me. I think it WILL be a happy new year!
This little fellow caught my eye – one of hundreds enjoying the music and pony rides and sparklers and Father Frosts at the main square celebration. Don’t you love his puffy coat?
And I heard him exclaim as he road out of sight: С Новым Годом to all – and to all a great night partying!
Susan Gaddis says
What fun! Thank you for sharing it with us in photos. 🙂
you are most welcome, dear friend.
Bonnie Cheney says
Wow! I had no idea how exciting New Years was for Russia. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed the post, Bonnie!
You party animal, you! It’s easy staying up all night when it is your usual time to be awake! How is that jet lag doing?
Jet lag is going better than it usually does. Not sure if it’s the excitement – or the 16 hours of darkness that helps to promote sleeping. I have yet to sleep through a night, however.
Fran Graham says
Sounds so wonderful, like a fairly tale. I am so pleased that you’re able to be there to experience this. Happy New Year my friend!
What a wonderful celebration to be part of with your Russian family. It’s looks like a fabulous celebration. Stay warm!
we had a great time! And I was so surprised to learn my close friend, Tanya (also my interpreter) had never been to the main square on New Year’s Eve. She lives in a district far from the center. So…as has happened several times in the past, a first for me also was a first for her. Serendipity
Cathi Fagan says
it is magical. i remember. so happy for your dream to come true!! love to Tanya for us; please. we mailed See’s has she received it so she
can share with you!?
Tanya hasn’t received the See’s yet. But she’s happy to know about it, Cathi!