Jim and I spent some time last evening walking around Maidan (the main square in downtown Kyiv) and other nearby spots so that we could see the excitement building for New Year’s Eve. Our plan is to NOT be on the square tonight at midnight, but we DID want to get a feel for what’s happening.
The lights are really amazing this year. So many of the buildings facing the square and along the main street Khreshchatik are decked out with bazillions of lights!
We started at the TOP of the hill and walked down to Globus and overlooked the square. The New Year’s tree is really a beauty this year — I have been disappointed that the past years have been more commercial advertising than a festive New Year’s tree. The lights on the tree are in continual motion…adding a layer every few seconds until the full tree is lit, but only for a few seconds. Almost immediately the bottom layers begin to darken and we wait again for the brightness to return from the top down.
We then strolled up the street where the ‘House with Chimeras’ is located. I felt like I had stepped into Narnia — frozen gargoyles and other strange creatures amidst snow and beautiful lights. Made me pray for Aslan to end the snow and bring on spring. Very strange.
We cut through the Passage and stopped for a cup of coffee before reaching the hustling bustling street level of Khreshchatik and the Square.
Several kiosks are selling souvenirs as if we were on Andriivsky Uzviz (the shopping street), but some of the kiosks took on the flair of a Christmas bazaar. And of course lots of food and drinks were offered.
Huge screens with winter scenes helped create some of the atmosphere, along with a carousel (with see-through covering to protect riders from the wind!), more than a few Father Christmases, sleighs and carriages as props for family portraits, and the unfortunate headless Minnie Mouse. Children enjoyed the train ride around the square as well.
One of the large screens was more of an advertisement than adding atmosphere…no question that Bud has arrived in Kyiv and is alive and well!
As we slid back home on the thick ice, we thought about the revelers that will be out and about tonight and were thankful that a quiet evening at home suits us so much better. Time to talk, to enjoy special foods, and to thank God for an amazing 2012…and appealing to Him for direction in 2013.
Happy New Year!