Tis the season…

I went for a walk around the city this afternoon. The city is in full preparations for their BIG celebration on January 1. That is when most family and friends get together and exchange gifts.  America’s Christmas is the former Soviet Union’s New Year celebration.

It has been snowing off and on for the last few days. Here are a selection of photos from today…

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These three photos are from the park near my apartment.  There are a couple of ice sculptures.  I hope to see more of sculptures next week when I travel to Astana and Pavlodar.  We only have a few.

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These two photos are from our mall area.  Santa Claus (Ded Moroz, Grandfather Frost) was dancing with some children.  He has a helper called a snow angel, but she was taking a break.  The tree is in front of the mall.


I know this doesn’t look like much traffic, but for a Saturday evening it is a lot!  I don’t ever recall seeing this much traffic on a weekend except around our outdoor market.

I was out again on Sunday afternoon and the traffic is so bad that the police are directing in places where there are no lights.  The stores are packed with shoppers.  It is like a what a store would be like in the US just a few days before Christmas.

The carts are full at the grocery stores.  Everyone is getting ready for the big day.  I understand that everything will be closing early Monday and then will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  Should make for some quite streets.