As I’ve mentioned, the official state New Year holidays start on December 31st and last to January 8th. Russian Christmas comes after the New Year on January 7th (stay tuned for explanation). All federal agencies are closed, most private business don’t operate. However, municipal transportation works, banks operate on a shortened schedule, and all the stores are open. The schools are closed.
All theaters and museums put up special holiday performances for children with Ded Moroz and the Snowmaiden (see earlier posts on who they are). The fate of Snowmaiden’s parents occupies the minds of the children, once they turn 5-6. To parents this question is no less challenging than the question of where the children come from. One needs to be very creative to explain to a five year old why the Snowmaiden’s parents never show up. There’s no official version, so every parent gives her own explanation that the Snowfather and the Snowmother are probably tied up at their office at the North Pole.
The visitors have to wear disposable plastic booties to the performance at this museum. I’m glad I didn’t put on my high heels. Jokes aside, it was a good idea because the streets are covered with snow, which is sprayed with sand, which gets carried inside on your shoes in great quantities.