Russia and Its Mysteries

Traveling to Russia will be a perfect option for those who want to get memorable impressions and dive into the world of amazing secrets and adventures

Traveling to Russia will be a perfect option for those who want to get memorable impressions and dive into the world of amazing secrets and adventures. These are everywhere: enigmatic territories, man-made fairytale constructions, old cities and villages with rich history, ancient traditions, museum exhibits with plenty of legends behind them...

Local Beliefs

Do you want to get acquainted with Russian nature? This country is steppes and deserts, forests and tundra, hills, rocks, lakes, taiga, rivers, plateaus, warm and cold seas. Such a diversity is hard to imagine from a distance. Here's an example: What does a person who's never been to Russia imagine upon hearing about Siberia? Most probably, it will be snowdrifts, frosts, and bears. Meanwhile, Southern Siberia has high mountains, hot steppes, gorgeous lakes, where locals go for vacations as if they were health resorts. For example, in Tuva and the south of Krasnoyarsk Territory, winter temperatures can go as low as –50°C (–58°F), while in summers there can be a 35-degree heat (95°F) – in Siberia!

Central Siberia has taiga, full-flowing rivers, magnificent rocks. In the north, there's the Arctic region. There are bears in Siberia, of course. But they differ from place to place: brown in the south and the center, polar in the north. Each of those places is beautiful in its own kind, each requires time to explore, keeps its legends and beliefs. Each needs a special approach.

Upon their arrival to Russia, tourists want to learn about local traditions. But there's such a drastic difference between Russian regions, that it seems they are separate countries! For Caucasians, hunting walruses, seeing polar bears, worshipping a whale head, or shaman rituals are really extraordinary activities. While people from the Far North will be amazed by narrow mountain roads in the Caucasus, rough fortresses, winemaking traditions, and everyday life rituals. Northeners will likely be surprised with an outstanding respect of Caucasians to their food. For example, the Adyg people had an old tradition to swear on food, while it was forbidden to turn one's back on the dining table. When a toast was given, one of the guests was to remain sitting thus expressing their respect to the food on the table. The majority of Russians will probably fail to explain what is the reason for that. To understand it, one has to visit the Caucasus.

At the same time, both Northeners and Caucasians would be amazed by Siberian legends, for example, about Lake Baikal. Locals believe that in Lake Baikal, on Olkhon island, Genghis Khan is buried, whose grave has never been seen by anyone. Some people even manage to see his image on one of the rocks... To check this out, one needs to go to Olkhon!

Upon their arrival to Russia, tourists want to learn about local traditions. But there's such a drastic difference between Russian regions, that it seems they are separate countries!

New Year Celebrations Several Times a Year!

Holidays in Russia are celebrated at different times as well. For example, there is one "common" New Year — January 1. Then, there goes a series of New-Year celebrations of different peoples: in February, March, April, June, September... Why in this month, why exactly like that, is a mystery to the uninitiated.

For example, Evenk New Year — Muchun — is celebrated in early June. It's also called a "Cuckoo Day". It is believed that nature wakes up when a cuckoo starts "counting hours" in summer. While in Yakutia, New Year is called Ysyakh and is celebrated closer to July. The word "ysyakh" means "abundance" that warm days bring to people.

What about culinary recipes? There's a popular expression "the secrets of Russian cuisine". There's a good reason why it appeared! But let's change "Russian cuisine" for "cuisines of peoples of Russia". Then, we'll have quite a serious collection of culinary secrets: each ethnic group has peculiar dishes, which cooking secrets are passed down for generations. Here's an example: Angara Siberians have traditional dishes that now are being registered as intangible cultural heritage objects. For example, Ikryanik, a fish caviar pie according to a special Angara recipe; or Burduk, a jelly-like soft drink made from cereals. Siberia is a part of Russia, though such recipes can be found nowhere else.

There are certain secrets behind seemingly most ordinary things in Russia. Take architecture, for example. How did it happen that in Angara villages in the very heart of Siberia, houses were built the same way that was used by people in the Russian North, citizens of Vologda and Arkhangelsk? Why do some buildings in Moscow look like Chinese palaces? And what is "Ural Baroque"?

Why do some buildings in Moscow look like Chinese palaces? And what is "Ural Baroque"?

Most Mysterious Places

Apart from architectural quirks, Russian cities are full of many mysterious and adventurous things. Underground labyrinths and catacombs from different epochs, war-time bunkers, "ghost houses", abandoned fortresses and lighthouses... Few people managed to solve their mysteries.

There are mysteries for those who are fond of museums, too. In Russia, there are exhibits, which mysteries can't be solved even by specialists! Such exhibits are kept in classical world-famous museums like, for example, the Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery, as well as in unusual, exotic museums of mouse, matryoshka or Baba-Yaga...

In a word, there's a good reason why they talk about "the enigmatic Russian soul". Travelers who visit Russia for the first time, are to be envied: they will come across so many secrets that solving them will require more than one year. But that's what makes it even more interesting!

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