On 25 March, Moscow will again join in the Earth Hour international campaign. This year’s slogan will be “Change yourself, not the planet!” and the main theme − each individual’s environmental responsibility.
Lights will be turned off for one hour, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm, on about 1,600 buildings.
“This will be the ninth time Moscow joins in the Earth Hour. Each year, the number of buildings which have their lights turned off for an hour grows. The most important thing is not so much the involvement of state and commercial agencies, but to get city residents interested in the event. This is what the Head of the Moscow Department for Environmental Management and Protection Anton Kulbachevsky said.
Candles arranged in the shape of a number and a symbolic knife switch
Lots of events have been prepared for Muscovites and city visitors. Among them will be a flash mob in front of St Basil’s Cathedral. Those taking part will arrange candles in the shape of 60+, the symbol of the Earth Hour. This will be done simultaneously with the lights being switched off.
At 8.35 pm, a bike parade will start from Vasilyevsky Spusk on Red Square. Its route will proceed along the Kremlin Embankment, cross the city centre and finish near the sculpture of Yury Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Street. There, one more event will take place. It will involve schools which won prizes in the Environmental Flash mob 2017 competition. At 9.30 pm, buildings will once again come alive and be lit up by means of using the symbolic knife switch near Yury Dolgoruky.
Environmental quests and ‘blossoming classics’
The Earth Hour campaign will also involve 14 city parks. The lights will be turned off at the main entrance to Gorky Park, on the Alley of the Arches in Sokolniki Park and on the commemorative steles on the main alley of Park Pobedy (Victory park). Electricity will be turned off on submarine B-396 Novosibirsk Komsomolets which is housed at the Museum and Memorial Complex of History of the Russian Navy at Severnoye Tushino Park.
At the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh), architectural and artistic lighting on the arch of the main entrance and pavilion No 1 “Central” will be turned off. In Vorontsovsky Park, all extra lights will be turned off at 8. 30 pm and an environmental flash mob will be held. In the café near the big pond, 200 candles will be arranged in the shape of 60+, the symbol of the campaign. A performance will be given by Alexander Kolpakov, a guitar virtuoso who was seen in the ice musical “Carmen.”
Stroginskaya Poima will be the venue of an eco-quest between1 pm -3 pm. It will include riddles and special tasks such as finding a plant, tree or bird and taking a photo of it, or painting a placard on an assigned environmental theme. Paints and paper will be handed out. To obtain registration one should call 8 499 729 6621 or forward an email to email@example.com.
The Moscow State University’s “Apothecaries’ Garden” will also join in. On 25 March, the 19th century secret laboratory will host its third concert “Blossoming Classics: Earth Hour”. Arias, old romances and Russian folk songs will be performed. To the accompaniment of an old vintage piano, baritone Denis Appolonin will perform “The Song of the Varangian Guest” from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Sadko” and other arias and songs. The concert will start at 7 pm and compositions performed will be extensive.
The list keeps expanding
Moscow joined in the Earth Hour campaign in 2013. It was then that the illumination of the Moscow Kremlin and over 100 other buildings was turned off for the first time. Since then, the number kept growing with every passing year. In 2014, nearly 400 buildings went dark, in 2015 – over 800, and last year – 1,500. These included the Stalinist Seven Sisters skyscrapers, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Luzhniki Stadium, World Trade Centre, most of the buildings on Novy Arbat, Tverskaya Street, Prospekt Mira and Leningradsky Prospekt, as well as bridges, railway stations, hotels, the zoo, most of the theatres and museums, VDNKh pavilions and even Ostankino Television Tower. In 2016, Moscow City skyscrapers had their lights off for the first time.