Moscow is preparing for New Year’s festivities. Champagne bubbles float in the flute lamps on Tverskaya Street, large arches have been set up in central squares, and the Musical Forest lighting installation has opened on Pushkin Square. New Year’s congratulations from passengers are being broadcast in commercial buses, and a host of Father Frosts will start congratulating passengers on the Moscow Central Ring trains a week from now.
The city is preparing 400 events for the New Year and Christmas, which up to 10 million people will be able to visit. The programme of festivities at 21 parks includes DJ sets, theatre performances, workshops, contests and draws. New Year celebrations will be held at 11 area sites and 42 sites within the Journey to Christmas festival. Seven Moscow Cinema theatres have prepared special film programmes, performances and workshops.
Festivities are already underway at Father Frost’s estate, where the programme includes children’s dance parties, games, performances and shows from 19 November to 15 January. Children can see the houses of Father Frost and the Snow Maiden, Father Frost’s mail service and an exhibit of New Year cards titled The Magic Letter. A breath-taking neon light show will be run from 1 to 7 January.
Mayor’s and prefect’s New Year parties
A series of Mayor’s New Year Parties will run in Gostinny Dvor from 24 to 30 December. The programme includes a fairy-tale musical that will teach children the importance of doing good deeds, Make a Star and Father Frost’s Workshops and the Earphones dance party. Children will learn to make New Year’s cards at the Card from Father Frost site or will go to the Art Palette site for face painting.
Over 40,000 children will get free tickets to Mayor’s New Year’s parties, including orphans and children left without parental care, children with disabilities from special boarding schools, children from large and low-income families, as well as contest and Olympiad winners and holders of the Moscow Government Prize. In addition, 4,000 tickets will be sold for the 11 am and 2 pm New Year’s parties on 31 December.
Over 11,000 children will be able to attend 28 Prefect’s New Year’s parties in late December. These parties will be held at the Stimul Culture Centre, the Moscow Multifunctional Culture Centre, the Onezhsky and Rublyovo culture centres, the Meridian centre of culture and arts, as well as the Ivanovsky, Moskvich, Zelenograd and ZIL culture centres.
Seeing the New Year in together across the administrative areas
The schedule of New Year’s events on 30-31 December and 1 January will be the same across 11 venues. The activities will include a children’s programme, contests, quizzes, street theatre and evening concerts and discos and fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. The Russian President’s New Year’s address will be broadcast live at all the venues.
The Central Administrative Area will host concerts, theatrical and DJ performances on Red Square and on Vasilyevsky Spusk (St Basil’s hill). In the Northeastern Administrative Area the festivities will centre around Cosmonauts Alley, in the Northwestern Administrative Area – around Dubravnaya Street and in the Western Administrative Area – around the Olympic Village Park. The gathering site in the Southeastern Administrative Area will be Lefortovo Park, in the Southwestern Administrative Area – at Yuzhnoye Butovo Park and in the Southern Administrative Area – at Borisovskiye Prudy Park.
The Northern Administrative District will see the New Year in at Angarskiye Prudy Park and the Eastern Administrative Area – on Semyonovskaya Square. The main festive venue in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas will be the courtyard in front of the Druzhba House of Culture in LMS township of Voronovskoye. In Zelenograd Administrative Area people will gather on the central square in front of the Zelenograd centre of culture.
Hip-hop party, ball and roboyolka at Moscow parks
On New Year’s night, 21 Moscow parks will host concerts and DJ shows, theatre productions, workshops, contests and lotteries. The people have made their choice by voting for extra events online on the Active Citizen portal.
Gorky Park will offer a hip-hop party, DJ shows and night skating. Sokolniki Park will organise a 1990s concert, while Hermitage Garden will provide a real ball with Rococo ornamentation, a brass band and festive treats. Bauman Garden will celebrate the New Year in the traditions of various countries, from India to England. The celebrations in Moscow parks will start at 9 pm and finish at 2 am The Russian president’s traditional New Year’s address to the nation will be broadcast on big screens at midnight.
Ice-skaters at VDNKh will travel around the world on New Year’s night. At 10 pm they will find themselves in the extreme north and take part in a sunrise carnival. An hour later, they will move to the East to see a festive procession with a dragon. At midnight, a figure skating party will begin on the rink to be followed by colourful Italian masks and mimes at 1 am and Scottish bagpipes, drum beat and folk songs at 2 am.
During the New Year holidays, Gorky Park will offer tours of the museum (2-8 January) where visitors will be able to jump off a virtual skydiving tower and enjoy views of Moscow from an observation deck. The Kuskovo Museum-Estate will be celebrating the Dutch New Year from 1 December to 15 January, and organise Christmas festivities with songs, carols and fortune-telling on 3-15 January.
The VDNKh festivities programme will feature the shadow performance, “Magician’s House,” round dancing, games and workshops in 3D modelling. Other events will include puzzles, logic riddles and mazes in Multi-Quest. Pavilion 2, or Robostation, will host a roboyolka from 17 December to 8 January, while Pavilion 8 invites visitors to solve the “Mystery of the Snow Queen” from 16 December to 8 January. Mosquarium has prepared a musical starring killer whales called “Lost World” (from 17 December to 8 January), and the VDNKh House of Culture will offer a show based on the Golden Key story (from 29 December to 7 January).
Treasure hunt and doodling in museums and exhibition halls
Museums and exhibition halls will host New Year’s parties, exhibitions, workshops, tours, themed programmes for children, quests and artist performances – over 250 events in total. Tsaritsyno Park invites guests to travel back in time and look into the mysteries of royal court life, find a treasure trunk and even see a duel. Visitors will have the chance to dance and do fencing, play ancient games, solve riddles and participate in competitions. New Year’s parties will take place on 23-30 December and on 2-3 January.
The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics will run a New Year’s performance, “Snow Brothers,” on 24-25 December and 2-6 January. Its protagonists are three brothers - December, January and February - who fly to different planets to create a star made of space frost for the main Christmas tree. If it is a magic star, Father Frost’s tree will light up with colourful lights followed by all the Christmas trees around the world and the New Year will come to people’s homes.
Kolomenskoye and Lyublino parks have prepared shows based on Russian folk stories plus opening programmes. The Kolomenskoye shows will take place on 22-28 December, and the Lyublino performances on 23-28 December and 2-3 January.
Gostiny Dvor will offer workshops in doodling and Zentangle on 4 and 8 January. Doodling and Zentangle are a drawing style combining geometric shapes placed among chaotic straight and curved lines, doodles, dots and other elements. The Museum of GULAG History will provide an opportunity to find information about peoples’ forefathers, keep family archives and register family stories. Workshops will be held on 5-8 January.
During the school holidays, 87 museums and exhibition halls will be free.
Workshops, contests and presents in libraries
Over 200 Moscow libraries will have special New Year’s programmes on 2-8 January. Theatre performances will run at 15 major reading rooms. For example, the Alexander Pushkin Library will hold a Petrushka show, with Father Frost and the Snow Maiden welcoming guests at the entrance. Children will get sweet treats.
Alongside performances, libraries will organise workshops, contests and arts and craft classes where participants will be presented with souvenirs. The list of libraries offering New Year’s shows is available on the link below.
All festive events on New Year’s Eve and the New Year holidays, the map of events and advice can be found at mos.ru