С Новым годом or Happy New Year from Samara, Russia. New Year is one of the biggest holidays of the year and in a nation that prides itself for hospitality, much as gone into the planning of this celebration.
Earlier on New Year’s Eve, markets were packed as people were purchasing the finishing touches for their holiday feast. The late night buffet will be a smorgasbord of family favorites. Friends and family gather to visit, eat and welcome the New Year. Even the children who call Samara Children’s Home #1 their home spent the day shopping and preparing dishes for this tradition. It does seem fitting as they are truly family.
On TV there is a variety of New Year’s Eve specials, each geared to different aged audiences. Regardless what form of entertainment you are watching, at five minutes to midnight every channel switches to Moscow for the next part of the tradition. The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev presents a message of greeting and a very brief outlook for the coming year. As his message ends, the bells of the Kremlin ring in the new year. Then a very rousing singing of the Russian National Anthem. As the TV shows images of Red Square and the Kremlin and the flash and sounds of fireworks outside the children join along, arms around each other singing and no doubt looking forward with optimism for the coming year. It is a very touching, emotional and hope filled moment.
On a personal note, happy birthday to my daughter Lusia. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rest of our team in the coming days.