Winter joys to warm hearts of Muscovites

Moscow looks to be in for a big chill, as the real Russian winter is back on track.

Unlike recent years’ abnormally warm winters, white season 2012 is forecast to be far colder. In Moscow, there will be at least 10 days of -20C temperatures in January.

State meteorologists also say spring will be warmer than usual. They admit, though, that their long-term forecasts are right only 70 per cent of the time.

Apart from intense cold, the snowy weather has brought winter joys into the Russian capital earlier than before.

Famous Gorky Park’s skating rink opens in just under two weeks.

The 15,000 square-meter rink is the largest in Europe. Apart from the main rink, there is also going to be space for kids and a mini-stadium for hockey players.

The current plus temperatures are not a problem, as the ice is artificial. This also means the skating season will last until mid-spring.

­In the new light

Another winter surprise is brand new approach to the illumination of Moscow streets.

The city authorities plan to take things to a whole new level, illuminating the Russian capital in different colors, depending on the season.

According to the plan, the streets will be lit up in blue and white in winter, and green and yellow during spring. Summer and autumn will see an abundance of red and purple lights respectively.

The authorities have already hired several companies that will be developing the color schemes. The new illuminations are expected to be ready by the end of 2012.

Implementing the idea will require hundreds of thousands of street lamps.

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