Sergei Sobyanin: Journey to Christmas Festival to last a month

Sergei Sobyanin: Journey to Christmas Festival to last a month
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Muscovites and guests of the capital will visit different workshops and fairs, take part in New Year quizzes for prizes and watch performances of figure skaters.

From 16 December to 15 January Moscow will host the Journey to Christmas Festival for the fourth time.

“Today we began preparations for Journey to Christmas, the most popular and famous international festival. It will be attended by representatives of 15 countries and 40 Russian regions. After hearing from Muscovites, the authorities decided to let the festival’s main venues stay open until 3 am. Owing to consistent efforts, Moscow has remained a leader among the best cities to visit and is becoming one of the most attractive metropolises. We will try to do everything to make Christmas and New Year holidays unforgettable for Muscovites,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

There will be fairs, Christmas and New Year songs, performances by musicians, dancers, magicians and clowns, and gifts and sweets for sale. Guests can also ice skate and take part in quizzes.

“The geography of the Journey to Christmas Festival covers both central venues and those in remote areas,” said Head of the Department of Trade and Services Alexei Nemeryuk.

Pushkinskaya Square will host the unique dynamic light installation “Music Forest”, in which an equalizer is used to render sound as changing images of light. The performance will last for eight to ten minutes – as long as the piece of music.

An enormous ice hill – seven metres high and 100 metres long – will be built between Manezhnaya and Revolution squares. New Year carousels will be set up at six venues.

A free skating rink will be open on Revolution Square every day. Visitors will see performances of “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “Chippolino” and “Snow White.” Fifty prominent figure skaters will take part in them. In addition, members of the Russian national figure skating team will participate in a Christmas exhibition on 7 January (together with members of the Figure Skating Federation). Olympic champions and winners of international competitions will conduct workshops.

The festival is expected to be visited by over 12 million Muscovites and guests of the capital. Recently winter tourism in Moscow has become increasingly popular in the Russian regions and foreign countries. Tourists from China, Germany, Sweden, Armenia and other countries will descend on the city.

According to hotel search and booking websites, Moscow is Russia’s most popular tourist destination for New Year’s Eve 2017.

“For several years we have been putting Moscow streets and squares in order, allowing us to use public spaces to host major street events accessible to all Muscovites and guests of the capital. This is not just beautification or a whim of the authorities. Street events, festivals and fairs are visited by millions of people of all ages and professions. All this promotes the development of tourism, small and medium-sized business and the city’s economy as a whole,” the Mayor said.

The Christmas Light Festival will be held in parallel with Journey to Christmas, and will last till 19 February. The best artists of Russia, France and Italy will design over 400 dazzling light installations for the Christmas Light Festival. Giant balls of light will appear on Poklonnaya Gora and the VDNKh (National Exhibition of Economic Achievements).

Souvenirs, treats and workshops

Two hundred pavilions will be open at festival venues, selling Christmas toys and decorations, art supply sets and many other things. Unique pieces by famous and budding designers done in the festival’s style will be offered in the Christmas Designer Village. “The best makers of New Year and Christmas goods from 15 countries and 40 Russian regions will be represented at the festival’s venues,” Mr Nemeryuk said.

Russia’s best regional producers will present their wares. They will be representing the Tver, Astrakhan, Ryazan, Orenburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Tula and Ivanovo regions, the republics of North Ossetia and Karelia and the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Representatives of foreign countries – Belgium, Italy, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Serbia, Armenia, China, Mexico, Peru and Morocco – will also attend the festival.

Sixty pavilions of restaurants, including Café Pushkin, Zozo, Beverly Hills, Porto Mikonos, LavkaLavka and Café Tchaikovsky will offer special menus. Famous chefs will host workshops on making Christmas and New Year treats.

About three thousand workshops, entertainment and educational programmes of interest both to adults and children will be held in Moscow.  They will be organised with the participation of the Masterslavl City of Craftsmen, Kidburg City of Professions, the Kulibin Pro Technical Creativity Shop, SM-47 Carpenter’s Shop and Bosco Children’s Club.

The quiz “Happy Time”, held at 17 venues across the city, will test Muscovites’ knowledge of New Year and Christmas traditions. Over 50,000 prizes have been set aside for the most enthusiastic participants.

Charity projects

The foundation I Am will host “Surprising fir trees” All those who wish may take part in this programme and make presents for the individuals under the organisation’s care.

The Joy of Old Age foundation will organise a shop of good deeds. Guests will make New Year presents for old people that the Lorry of Good Deeds will take to homes of elderly people. For more details, check the website mos.ru.