Saturday, 1 December 2012

Moscow’s Christmas festival season gathers pace

With the first snowfalls, Moscow’s Christmas season has officially come to town. Although getting around the city has become a challenge, the merits of seasonal shopping and yummy treats served at Christmas fairs are worth checking out. The taste of British traditional Christmas treats can help everyone forget about the weather, and visitors at the Christmas Bazaar hosted by Moscow’s St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will be able to try it out this Saturday. Mince pies and mulled wine have become the regular features of the annual event, hosted by the church to raise funds for its restoration. The selection of presents is also expected to have many interesting items – whether they are Russian traditional crafts or postcards made to help the Step Up Education Center for orphaned youth, supported by the church. From year to year, the number of charitable events in the city is growing, but not many can rival the yearly Winter Bazaar organized by the International Women’s Club on Saturday. The diversity of goods and foods from all parts of the world can actually make visitors’ head spin, and walking away without buying anything is just impossible, especially after you know that all the funds raised at the event are to help charities supported by the club. The third installment of the Heart-to-Heart Bazaar is also a good place to get a Christmas gift and help someone in need at the time, too. This year, the fair is hosted by the Sokolniki Park where a traditional arts and crafts fair is also taking place every weekend before Western Christmas. Everyone who feels like supporting young Russian talents can do their shopping at Moscow’s Higher School of British Design. The students will be selling their works at a Christmas fair on December 15. Moscow’s parks are also to become locations for seasonal shopping. Russian arts and crafts are to be on sale in the All-Russian Exhibition Center, while Sad Ermitazh is to host the stylish winter installment of the Seasons Festival. Skaters and snowboarders can also enjoy gift shopping in Gorky Park, where Christmas Fairs will be happening over the weekends throughout December. Even the Kremlin neighborhood is to relax its official appearance for the season welcoming visitors of Moscow’s first Strasbourg Fair. Vintage-flared local versions of Christmas fairs from world capitals are to open in the Sad Baumana Park. Each of the seven zones will imitate the Christmas Bazaars of London, New York, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, and Stockholm the way they looked in the middle of the last century.

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