St Petersburg through the year – Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Working for airlines my entire life has given me the chance to travel the world for free while working. It also allows me to choose the places I would like to revisit in my own time and also to see how locations change throughout the year. With this in mind, I thought that a look at St Petersburg throughout the year might be of interest. Most of the tourist visitors do tend to go in the summer months but late spring and early autumn are also worth looking at because of the lower number of people at the major attractions. I will deal with all the details and places in later articles but to begin with I thought that a quick overview of a year in St Petersburg might be useful.
Whatever the weather, Russian people are always ready to celebrate and consequently take their public holidays very seriously. Flowers have a great symbolic significance here, from mimosa for International Women’s Day, to lilac to mark the beginning of summer. Every official holiday, as well as some local festivals such as City Day, are celebrated both in the centre of town and in the many different districts, with regattas, balloon rides and fireworks at night, when the torches on the Rostral Columns are lit. Classical music is the central theme of a large number of festivals each year, attracting talented performers from all over the world. However, even without an official holiday the Russian people seem to love to get out and about. It make be to ski or ice skate in the winter months or gather mushrooms in late summer and autumn, but there are always plenty of people doing something.
St Petersburg’s climate can vary dramatically from hot, sunny days and occasional heavy downpours during the summer months, to winters with sub-zero temperatures and snow. From mid-June to mid-July, it never gets dark. During the winter months, the days are extremely short, but there can be the occasional day of bright sunshine.
Rain and Snowfall
St Petersburg summers are humid and wet, but the downpours are a welcome relief from the summer heat. In winter frequent snowfalls build up to create metre-high drifts, usually not thawing until late March.
St Petersburg’s climate is maritime and milder than might be expected. Summers are warm and often punctuated with hot days as early as May, though during the winter months temperatures often fall below freezing.
What to expect each month
This is the Russian Orthodox Christmas; Rozhdestvo, 7 Jan.
Christmas is celebrated in a quieter fashion than Easter, with a traditional visit to an evening service on Christmas Eve (6th), when the church bells ring out all over the city.
Defenders of the Motherland Day (Den zashchitnikovrodiny), 23 Feb.
The male equivalent of Women’s Day. Men are congratulated and given flowers and presents.
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