Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Moscow Mondays: Christmas Take 2!

The beauty of arriving back in Moscow on the 3rd of January was that as our holidays were ending, theirs were really only just getting underway. And people here take their holidays and relaxation very seriously, a la Russe. As in, the normally swarming metros feel almost void of people and there's a Christmas tree on every corner (in the center anyways). Except that they're not Christmas trees...the major Russian holiday is New Year's. Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7th, and while everyone is celebrating at that point, it's primarily due to the fact that they just never stopped celebrating New Years.

I love it. I came back to Moscow and it felt like a different city. Especially since the weather had warmed up significantly in my absence.

Christmas Day (Round 2) I took to the streets to check out the holiday makeover. And to's a popular Russian pastime. During daylight, it was lovely. In the evening, it was stunning. And seriously cold. My friend Nastya found us a Russian "mythology" tour of the area around the Kremlin. Most of the stories and history were presented in an "official" version and then several variations of myths followed. Needless to say, my sense of Russian history is all the more confused. We cut out of the 2.5 hour walking tour a bit early. There comes a point when nothing makes it worth being out in the cold for even a minute longer. We were there.

Besides, we had business to attend to: my first Russian cooking class! Pilmyeni are delicious and fortunately not overly complicated to make. They're also something you can cook and eat pretty much immediately, which is an added bonus. And ultimately, I think cooking makes the best possible souvenir. It's always fun to bring a piece of a country home with you that you can recreate. When I find myself homesick for Russia (assuming a time when I'm not living here), I'll have a comfort food to bring me back home!

And of course a Russian cooking class would NOT be complete without a matryoshka apron.
While, we couldn't fit everything into Christmas Day, the weekend before we also enjoyed a holiday highlight: The Nutcracker. If you ever decide to brave the cold and visit Russia during the winter, try to hit it up over the holidays. And DON'T miss our Bolshoi Ballet performing this classic. If you live in Moscow, add it to your bucketlist. The set is stunning, the dancers are fantastic, and there's nothing quite like seeing a Russian classic while on Russian soil. When in Moscow...

I'm chalking up Second Christmas as a success. While it's back to work for most of the Russian populace today, never fear...Old New Year's and another day off is just around the corner! After all, the best holidays deserve to be celebrated twice!!!


  1. Wow! You get to extend your Christmas celebration! Moscow does look stunning at night and I like the trees lined up along the street. You look so pretty in the matryoshka apron. Hugs XX

  2. This is completely beautiful! Seeing The Nutcracker in Moscow must have been amazing. I seriously love reading your Russian adventures

  3. I love how it's decorated there. I'm actually going to write a book in my series that takes place in Moscow during the Christmas season. It's nice to have seen these pictures!

  4. Oh, wow - it's so beautiful! And seeing the nutcracker in moscow? AMAZING. Although i vowed to never watch the nutcracker again, i saw it every year and then was in it a few a times and that's when I say, enough is enough.

  5. I LOVE the Nutcracker, everything Tchaikowsky actually. I try to see the Nutcracker every holiday season, though mostly not in such gorgeous theatres. The most beautiful theatres / opera houses I have been were Royal Opera House in London (I have seen Swan Lake) and the Staatsoper in Munich (I saw several Ballets and Operas there).

    Lovely, lovely pictures!


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