Things to Do to Immerse Yourself in Russian Culture
Information about Russia 12.02.2019
1) Russian Banya (Bath)
Since ancient times, bath has been valued in Russia much more than just a place for body cleansing. It was a real ritual, associated with the complete liberation from any problem physically and spiritually. The bath helped the Slavs to be strong and healthy, protected from many diseases, and invigorated the body and the spirit.
2) Go further away from classical tourist routes in Moscow and St. Petersburg. For example, take a train ticket and go across the country by the Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway (or, as it was called before, the Great Siberian Railway) surpasses any railway line on our planet, its total length is more than 10,000 kilometers. The railway crosses 87 cities and 16 major rivers.
On the way from Moscow to Vladivostok, the train "Russia" makes 64 stops. The train itself appeared in 1966 and until now, it is the fastest way to travel through the Trans-Siberian railway.
There is also a more comfortable (though more expensive) type of train, called Imperial Russia. The ticket includes several stops for sightseeing, meals and luxurious interiors of the carriages.
3) Take part in traditional Russian festivals. For example, Maslenitsa.
Maslenitsa is an East Slavic traditional holiday celebrated during the week before Lent, retaining a number of elements of Slavic mythology in its rituals.
In the folk calendar of the Eastern Slavs, the holiday marks the border of winter and spring,
Maslenitsa is the fun farewell of winter, lit up with the joyful expectation of the near warmth, the spring renewal of nature. The main attributes of the holiday are traditionally the effigy of Maslenitsa, sleigh rides, festivities and, of course, pancakes – round and hot, a symbol of the sun, which grows brighter and stays longer in the sky.
4) Attend Russian Ballet
Russian ballet is the calling card of the country and Russian culture as a whole. At different times, the ballet was localized in two capitals of the country - Moscow and St. Petersburg. That is how two different schools appeared: restrained, academic Petersburg school and artistic, temperamental Moscow school. That is how Russia became the home of the world’s two most famous ballet companies—the Bolshoi and the Kirov (Maryinsky).
5) Attend one of the restaurants specializing on Russian cuisine. For example Gogol Restaurant in St. Petersburg (Malaya Morskaya str. 8) or Doctor Zhivago in Moscow.
Gogol Restaurant, located in the center of St. Petersburg, is very atmospheric. You feel like you have travelled back in time and expect Gogol to walk into the room at any moment! The four rooms of restaurant are decorated in the 19th century style. You will have a small bell on your table that you can use to call a waiter. The staff (also dressed accordingly) is very friendly and helpful and everyone speaks English.
Grand Café Doctor Zhivago is one of the iconic places in Moscow where you can try traditional Russian dishes and delicacies. The local chef Alexander Rappoport proved sceptics wrong and make everybody believe that the traditional Russian cuisine is delicate, modern, and it can be super trendy. This restaurant is a real work of art, and the walls of its white hall are adorned with the masterpieces of the greatest Soviet artists, including Petrov-Vodkin and Malevich (the one created ‘The Black Square’).