The 2016 travel season in Russia offers many exciting experiences. Starting in May national holidays, bright parades and cultural celebrations follow one another making the beautiful cities even more special in the warm summer days and the Russia tours more memorable and fascinating. Here’s our list of Top events you wouldn’t want to miss.
Ice Hockey World Championship 2016
Good news for the sports fans: from May 1st to the 22nd Russia’s thrilling capitals will host the overwhelming Ice Hockey World Championship 2016. Filling the city with bright colors, flags of different countries and overall joy, it is estimated that during this time over 60 thousand people from all over the world will pay a visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg to support their favorite teams and to see these beautiful cities. Apart from the numerous attractions, sports and entertainment events, the national holiday Victory Day held on May 9th, which is so honored by the local citizens, is an unforgettable cultural experience and an absolute must-visit.
White Nights & Peterhof Fountains
Saint Petersburg is the remarkable cultural capital of Russia that was given an extraordinary gift by nature: the White Nights. From about May 15th to July 10th the romantic White Nights create a mind-blowing positive atmosphere. At this time of the year it seems as though the whole population of the city doesn’t sleep. People take walks down Saint Petersburg’s streets admiring the architecture and the drawing of bridges in the half-dim sky and listen to the sounds of music.
The city celebrates the beginning of the warm season by an incredible and well-known event: the opening of the Fountains at Peterhof Palace. Held in the middle of May this unique celebration is dedicated to the first water. On this day the 147 fountains located on the territory of the gorgeous imperial residence are turned on, accompanied by a traditional military orchestra, dancing and decorative illumination. The jaw-dropping beauty of the surroundings together with the festive mood are sure to sink into your memory for a very long time.
Another well-known annual public event which takes place during the White Nights in Saint Petersburg is the traditional Scarlet Sails show, celebrating the end of the school year as well as the graduation of senior students. On June 18th breathtaking fireworks light up the city’s sky symbolizing freedom from "schools and rules". An actual ship with red sails sails along the city’s adjacent waters just like in the famous children’s book by Alexander Grin. Lots of music concerts, entertainment programs, ballet and orchestra performances and a massive water show on the Neva River decorate and enliven the “Venice of the North”.
Ivan Kupala Day is an ancient pagan holiday observed in Slavic countries, celebrating the summer solstice. Traditionally the festive gatherings took place every year on July 6th in honor of the god of fire. For many centuries light and fire have been the symbols of Kupala. On this night people jump over bonfires and swim in rivers to burn and wash out all the bad. They sing and dance in a ring around bonfires, make wreaths out of leaves and flowers, girls wear them on their heads and let the wreaths float on water to tell their fortune. Ivan Kupala is an unforgettable cultural event worth experiencing.
All in all there’s much more to Russia than just architecture and sightseeing, these remarkable events can surely adorn your tour to Russia in 2016!