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BIRTHDAY OF DED MOROZ (RUSSIAN SANTA CLAUS)

19 November 2020

Every year, on 18th November, Russia officially celebrates the birthday of Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”), analogue of Santa Claus. It is believed that on 18th November real winter begins and first frosts hit.
BLACKSMITH'S DAY IN BELARUS

16 November 2020

On 14th November, Belarus celebrates the national holiday of Kuzma - the patron saint of blacksmiths. Therefore, this day is also called the professional holiday of these craftsmen - Blacksmith's Day. Blacksmithing is one of the oldest and most respected crafts.

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Irkutsk

The city of Irkutsk is located in Siberia and is sometimes called "Paris of Siberia" for its elegance and style. Irkutsk is one of the few cities in Siberia that has managed to maintain its original historical character and design. Some can appreciate beautiful churches and traditional wooden houses of Irkutsk; others – its noteworthy night life. Irkutsk is a point of interest with its many museums and ancient architecture.

 

The Taltsy Museum is an open-air museum of traditional Siberian architecture, which holds numerous old wooden village buildings of the Angara river valley. One of the centerpieces of the collection is a partial reconstruction of the 17th-century Ilimsk ostrog (fortress), consisting of the original Spasskaya Tower and the Church of Our Lady of Kazan transported from the flooded ostrog in the mid-1970s.

 

About 70 km from Irkutsk is situated the famous Lake Baikal, known to be the largest freshwater lake in Asia and the deepest in the world. It is considered one of the clearest and the oldest lakes in the world, 25–30 million years old. Due to its age and isolation the lake has one of the richest and rarest freshwater fauna of the world, more than 80% of the animals are endemic: the Baikal seal or nerpa, the red fox, the ermine, the Siberian deer, the Siberian roe deer, etc. Until the early Middle Ages, the European bison was present near the lake, which was the easternmost part of its range.