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The holiday of hundreds of countries. Russians and foreigners celebrated 2016’s arrival at Dvortsovaya Square

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St. Petersburg celebrated the arrival of 2016. Main festivities took place in the city’s center. Alexandra Lee joined the fun

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Alexandra Lee, reporter: “Whatever happened in the passing year, the new year always brings anticipations of something good. And now, in the already started year 2016, there are thousands of optimists here at Dvortsovaya Square. For some time, everyone here has become kinder – having remembered a good old song which has turned 110 years. The jubilee was celebrated in St. Petersburg with a flash-mob. Although, in Russia this has been called a “khorovod” for many centuries. Just a century ago, to take part in it you’d have to dress up, take others hands and sign”

This roundelay at Dvortsovaya did not enter the Guinness Book of World Records, but has definitely become one of the largest in the entire history of New Year celebrations in St. Petersburg. The number of registered participants alone exceeded 3 thousand people, but there were also a lot of those who joined in on the spot. The century-old tune is being sung in unison by all the children of the Soviet Union. There are many people here from the post-Soviet republics, certainly, but this year St. Petersburg saw much more tourists from other Russian cities too.

Vadim Khovailo, resident of St. Petersburg: “We’re not only celebrating it this time, we’ve been doing it for three years straight – because this is the best place to greet the New Year!”

Alexey Leskov, tourist from Tver: “Much more illumination this year. We’ve been coming here for the fourth consecutive year. 4 years!”

The hospitable St. Petersburg greeted its guests with “gingerbread” lights and puffy flakes of long-awaited snow. Having turned entirely pedestrian on this night, Nevsky put on its best suit. Many say streets of the city are full of foreign guests are right – there are really a lot of them. It takes them some effort, but they are trying to communicate in Russian while being here – talking common subjects too.

- We are very worried that it will be New Year in half-an-hour and we will become a year older!

-All good, all’s excellent! Thanks Russia! Happy New Year!

People are seemingly keen on pushing the past 365 days out of the door as quickly as possible – those were difficult for the world, country and the city. And are hopeful that the new leap year will be filled with joy.

What’s your best memory in the departing year?

Crimea!

I’m talking about 2015

Wait, has it already been a year?

More

Well, the main thing is that we keep our spirits high!

The noise of the crowd goes quiet ahead of addresses by the President and the Governor. The clock strikes the countdown – and 2016, with the speed of a rocket, storms into the city by the Neva. 

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