The nations of the Russian Arctic, who can’t imagine their life without strong freezing temperatures, have decided to celebrate the Day of the Cold on the last day of winter. This year, on February 29, the Day of the Cold is celebrated for the first time. The organizers say they want to attract public attention to the problems and opportunities in the Russian Arctic and hope that the holiday will become an annual International event.
The languages of the Arctic nations have about 50 words to describe different types of snow. Since their childhood these people learn to distinguish between slightest details, shades and different types of snow. The cold weather is a prerequisite of the whole Arctic environment. Without it polar bears, seals, white whales and other Arctic sea mammals could not survive. The traditional way of living of the Arctic people would also be impossible without the cold weather.
The idea to celebrate the Day of the Cold emerged in a reindeer skin tent, a traditional house of the Arctic people, in a village located in the vicinity of the city of Naryan Mar in Russia’s polar region, head of the Center of Arctic Initiatives Matvey Chuprov says
"We got together and decided that we needed a common public holiday which would unite peoples of the Arctic region and help them protect their interests, the environment we live in. We decided that it was time to stop fighting global warming and start “protecting” the cold instead. This would entails changing the current approaches and changing the principles laid down by the Kyoto protocol which unfortunately do not work in the current situation anymore."
Marking this event is a simple but effective way to draw attention of the global community to such the miracle the Arctic region is, Chuprov says. The first Day of the Cold is marked by scientific forums which are held in the cities of Russia’s Arctic region and of course by folk festivals. Although the name of the holiday may sound “chilling” the idea of holding such an event is brilliant, the Arctic researcher and head of the Museum of Arctic and Antarctic Viktor Boyarsky says.
"It is important that the event develops into a dynamic and inspiring holiday for young people and enliven the lives of the peoples of the Arctic. I think it will become a tradition."
Today, folk festivals are being held in the cities of Naryan-Mar and Archangelsk. Also a video conference has been organized between the two cities. On Naryan-Mar’s central square of a reindeer skin tent has been put up. The visitors can have a ride in reindeer carts and taste traditional food. In Archangelsk, students staged a flash mob. In Salehard, the capital of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region, a children’s festival is underway. The festival is sponsored by the city government, the Federation of Russia children’s organizations and several international funds.