"The Russians are coming!" Top 5 Page for this destination Seasonal Events Tip by Mariajoy

Seasonal Events, London: 35 reviews and 96 photos

   
by Mariajoy
 
  • The Russians are coming! - London
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  • The Russians are coming! - London
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      Kremlin Guard - rubbish photo
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An event recently established in London is the Russian New Year Festival (according to their old calendar) which took place in 2005 and 2006 on the weekend of the 14th Jan. The busy roads around Trafalgar Square and beyond are closed and traffic diverted to accommodate the hoards descending on the capital for the "Red Square in London" weekend.

I met up with my lovely VT friend Jo104 and others to see a full programme of music, dancing and theatre and, best of all, a special appearance this year of the Kremlin Guard - the first time they have ever appeared outside of Russia! The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov both gave speeches. There were well known Russian pop singers and traditional folk dancing, face painting for the kiddies and and stalls selling all kinds of Russian holidays and food - some of it involving cabbage?

This year Westminster Council forbade the drinking/selling of Vodka at the festival due to last year's debauchery and drunkeness and the subsequent use of the city as a urinal by thousands of revellers. Therefore it was prohibited to bring alcohol into the Square or out of it. Bags were searched on entry to remove any Smirnoff you might have on you. Whilst within it's enclosures only Baltika "The No 1 Beer of Russia" (according to the free beer mat ) and mulled wine were on sale. There were dozens of Russians handing out thousands of leaflets offering everything from a Russian Bridal Service to a Baltic Cruise.

We had fake snow, free ribbons in the colours of the Russian flag, mulled wine and renditions of various traditional Russian songs by some of those not on the stage. It was great fun to be amongst the capital's Russian emigre's who obviously enjoyed the proceedings.

Address: Trafalgar Square
Directions: Trafalgar Square
Website: http://www.russianlondon.com/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 29, 2006
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