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7 Things about the Russian Winter that Surprise Foreigners
December 25, 2018 00:32


Too much heating in the houses and fur hats all around as well as New Year celebrations can impress and shock foreigners in Russia at the same time.

1. Ice and salt on the streets. Just like the Russians, foreigners can hardly adapt and choose the right shoes for walking along the slushy Russian streets. Hiking boots attract puzzled looks in restaurants and cultural institutions, if you wear the Ugg boots , be sure to feel slippery and wet; the snow thawing off the shoes will leave huge brown puddles in the rooms, and the anti-iced reagent will leave stains on the expensive shoes, besides, this will happen at the most inopportune moment.

2. Darkness. Travelers often complain about total darkness and a short daylight in the country in winter. You can be saved only by the New Year's illumination and rare sunny days: however, these do not bring any significant relief - some people firmly believe are that the sun is warming the snow and turns it into brown slush, which later freezes and turns into dangerous ice. 

3. Fur hats. The Russians style of winter clothes is noticed by everyone: fur and leather hats, the habit to wear several layers of clothes, women wearing boots on high heels, despite all the ice and dirt. 
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4. Cold temperature and fur coats. Everyone who is going to visit Russia in winter, first of all, asks the tourists who have already visited the country about the possible ways of coping with frost. The expats who have already lived in Russia for some time like to talk about the horrors of the Russian winter, and, first of all, about the extraordinarily low temperature indicators. More experienced travelers do not care about the style and beauty and immediately wear fur coats and Ugg boots or arctic jackets. Those who have not yet put up with low such temperatures, are simply advised not to go outside from warm rooms.

5. New Year. All foreigners are surprised at the reverent attitude of the Russians to the holiday of the New Year and its celebration. Here goes the saying “You will spend the New Year exactly the way you meet it”. You can see a lot illumination on the streets, magnificently decorated Christmas trees in the apartments, the President’s speech delivered under the walls of the Kremlin (“Midnight Meeting with Putin”), the festivities on the streets: these things amaze everyone. On top of all, ten days off (non-working days) simply astound all the guests of the capital.

6. Heating in the houses. The hot air temperature in the rooms of apartments, taxis and public transport is almost as terrifying for foreigners as the frost on the street. This is accompanied by the admiration on the account of the magnificently dressed women in theatres, women wearing dresses with bare shoulders and en extremely low neckline in restaurants, in addition to the despair about the fact that it is absolutely impossible to adjust (or completely turn off) the heating in hotel rooms. There is advice for those who feel too cold – just move from museum to museum, “in order to warm up yourself up”.

7. Tea and Russia bath. For some reason, foreigners are necessarily proposed to fight the winter colds in Russia with the help of Russian bath and hot tea. This should be the “right” kind of Russian bath, with an ice hole in some water reservoir nearby. Russian bath is also recommended as a traditional New Year's entertainment. Tea (with honey and lemon) and other kinds of warming drinks (take-away coffee on every corner, aromatic mulled wine on a skating rink in the centre of the city) seem to be a real salvation for foreigners.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian winter Russian holidays New Year   

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