The Town Square

Syktyvkar is ready for the new year. The town's square is finally complete with ice sculptures, a skating rink, and a tree. The camels (yes, you read that correctly), horses, and reindeer are brought in for the kids, and the small wooden huts are selling their goods.

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Tyler and I went for a long walk earlier in the week and by 2:15PM, the sun had disappeared and the street lights had been switched on. This city doesn't bother taking down the holiday twinklers, so hoisted above the streets they remain all year, only to be turned on for the weeks surrounding the new year.

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Even the center's roundabout looks grander than ever, surrounded by snow and luminescence.

There are vendors selling New Year's trees on the sidewalks, and people hauling them home by foot. There isn't a tradition of hoisting up a tree the day after Thanksgiving (for obvious reasons). I get the feeling people have it on display for a week, maybe two.

At night, the town's square comes alive with fluorescent trees, glowing blocks of ice, kids running wild, and friends meeting.

Each of the cities of the Komi Republic is represented by a large block of ice and a statue. You should recognize the one below from earlier in this post.

We headed home, looking back at the red star propped perfectly atop the tree and all the people who were just beginning their evening. 

Tyler and I will be spending New Year's Eve with friends, despite the fact that it's a family holiday here in Russia. We feel so lucky to be included and I can't wait to experience this authentic Russian tradition.