Whether you are with a special someone or flying solo, RT has great tips on how to make the most of this Valentine's Day.
With romantic dinners, flowers and gifts, St. Valentine’s is the day when love is officially in the air. Designer Yana Blagoveshchenskaya loves it, but for very different reasons: for her, it is time to coin it. Every year for Valentine’s Day, her online store is filled with all things heart-shaped.
“It’s no wonder that more and more people are looking for handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day – handcrafted with love and care, they can’t help but evoke positive emotions,” Yana told RT. “Also, each of these pieces is unique. We can take the European tradition of making Valentine’s cards and add something of our own.”
In Russia, the holiday hasn’t been around for long, having been brought in from abroad in the 1990s. Some say it’s a needless Western influence; others that all it does is push people to spend money. However, polls show last year more than 80 per cent of Russians celebrated it and exchanged gifts.
This year, the capital’s Gorky Park is turning commercial hype into a romantic opportunity – it has become the venue for love-themed art in the hope of drawing in more of the city’s loved-up couples.
“It’s my answer to the work “Love” by the American Robert Indiana,” artist Sergey Bratkov told RT. “Gorko” is the traditional cheer at Russian weddings that prompts the bride and groom to kiss. My monument is dedicated to all the newlyweds and loved-up couples. I hope it’ll become a good place for them to take photos and kiss.”
Still, gifts and eating out remain Valentine’s Day classics, so the capital’s chefs are going out of their way to prepare something special for the city’s romantics. And what better way to sweeten up your love than by feeding your sweet tooth? One upmarket confectionery in Moscow has come up with its own recipe for the food of love.
“When I started here six years ago, people hardly went out for Valentine’s Day,” Johann Vaxelaire, sous chef at the Confectionery Café Pushkin, told RT. “Now, more and more Russians book a table especially for this holiday. Every year we try to do something new for St. Valentine’s. Usually, it’s a cake for two, but it can be a chocolate box – when you open it, it’s filled with chocolates.”
It is not just the city’s eateries that capitalize on the holiday. Going to a museum may not be your typical idea of a Valentine’s Day special – yet, this is not your typical museum. This is an indoor garden filled with hundreds of freel-flying butterflies.
Sweets for your sweet may be a great Valentine’s Day idea, but to make your romantic dinner even more romantic, the Moscow House of Butterflies offers a chance to go on a date in a tropical forest, surrounded by dozens of exotic creatures from Asia, Africa and South America.
So whether you opt for a stroll in a park or choose to splash out on something out of the ordinary, anything goes as long as love is in the air.
Valentine's Day can be a tough one for singletons, but there will be plenty of ways for everyone to celebrate in Moscow tomorrow.
For those who are unlucky in love, there is an "I hate Valentine's"-themed evening on at Relax nightclub.
Love-birds who are not afraid of the cold can celebrate the day in Moscow's parks and ice rinks, where special Valentine's sculptures and decorations will be appearing.
Whether you are looking for love, or you have already found it, you can celebrate at the "Big Love Show" at the Olimpisky Stadium. With Russian stars like Dima Bilan, T-Killah and many others playing, it looks set to be a great night.
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