Moscow celebrates City Day this weekend

This year Russia's capital celebrates its 866 birthday. Source: ITAR-TASS

This year Russia's capital celebrates its 866 birthday. Source: ITAR-TASS

A culinary show, concerts, fireworks, fun science... There are hundreds of activities to visit this weekend in the Russian capital - and yes, you're invited too!

Moscow traditionally celebrates its founding—this year, 866 years ago—during the first weekend in September. Even the roughest estimate suggests that there will be around 1,000 different events and activities, with something for everyone. To help you find your way through the carnival pizzazz, take this RBTH City Day guide, in which we pick out the best of the best.

12:00 p.m.

By noon, most of the main streets in the capital will be transformed. Around the Boulevard Ring, tables are being laid out for people to play board games, listen to music, look at works by artists, or wander through a bazaar of hand-made items. You will find henna painting lessons, soap-making and body-painting available, as well. Handy hint: The best place to start from is Tverskoi Boulevard, where you'll find food available from more than 40 different Moscow cafes. Don't get stuck into a protracted game of Monopoly on an empty stomach!

2:00 p.m.

Move on from Tverskoi Boulevard to Tsvetnoi Boulevard, where Moscow's oldest circus-ring, the Nikulin Circus, is located. They have ponies, parrots, dogs, pythons and bears, but the star event is the Elephant Parade. After the parade, there is a model photo-shoot.

4:00 p.m.

Head to Moscow Hermitage Garden, where there will be a celebration of the Soviet Union. Revel in music from the former Soviet states—Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic States, all performing on the same stage. There also will be a Designer Market and exotic food stalls offering food from the former Soviet regions.

6:00 p.m.

Next up is the VVC—the All-Russia Exhibition Center, formerly known as VDNKh. Here there is a Polifest, set up by the Moscow Polytechnical Museum. The Street & Art Science show has visualizations of scientific anomalies to watch, and there is a mobile Science Lab demonstrating experiments in physics, chemistry and robotics. Experimentation continues on the menus of the food festival here, too! Organizers promise instant food, space food, unusual ice-creams and even invisible food.

8:00 p.m.

At Kuznetsky Most, you will find a Slavic Food Festival in which more than 20 different Moscow eateries work at reviving ancient Slavic recipes. There are master-classes, cook-offs and food tastings to enjoy. It's all part of the special Tasty City culinary festival, with more than 100 restaurants participating.

9:45 p.m.

Look skywards on Sept. 7 to see firework displays launched from 12 different locations in Moscow. It's all coordinated to music, and the display will last 10 minutes, as part of the Moscow International Fireworks Festival. The festival has been going in Moscow throughout the summer, and Muscovites have been voting for the best displays: The festival's leading displays will be seen in the Grand Finale.

Skimming through the list of impressive participants, this is going to be something very special! The special guests are the legendary German fireworks team, PYROTRONIX, who have previously sent up shows for the prince of Monaco's coronation, the closing ceremonies of the UEFA football cup in Kiev, and the pyrotechnics shows for Pink Floyd's European tour.

10:00 p.m.

Firework displays with live music from the French street-theatre company Group-F will begin at Poklonnaya Gora. The show will feature “More Light”—one of the largest-scale projects the group has ever performed. It is an entire performance in the language of fireworks, telling a modern tale about the history of fire: It begins as a treasured object, becomes a ritual, moves on through blind worship and greed, and finally becomes the symbol of human consciousness, conquering the darkness.

As a special bonus, the Moscow Metro has prepared a special edition of tickets, with pictures of city landmarks printed on them—something special to keep for your scrapbook, maybe?

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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