Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Moscow St. Patrick's Day

So, first of all, it was "warm" yesterday.  Mid-30s.  The girls did not have to wear snowpants, as their tights and fleece-lined jeans were sufficient for several hours outdoors.  In the morning, we headed down to the Stariy Arbat (a souvenir-shop-ridden pedestrian street not far from the Embassy) to see the parade.  Having never been to a St. Patrick's Day parade before, I was a little surprised to see that goth and the occult seemed to dominate.  I have since been told that is not normal for St. Patrick's Day.  Moscow makes things its own, I guess.

There was also the obligatory fur-hatted Russian marching band.  They played some John Philip Souza, which I found pretty funny (again, not knowing what is normal for St. Patrick's Day; but somehow I assume this isn't, at least not in Ireland).

Then there were these caped "inquisitors."  It reminded me of the group of students at my high school who wore all black, complete with knee-high moccasin boots and long flowing capes.  I didn't know the term "goth" back then, but I guess that is what they were.

I overheard this woman giving an interview in English, explaining that she was an anglophile.  She gestured to her costume as if to say it was evidence of her passion.  I wouldn't have characterized that costume as "English, but maybe "slutty witch" is now universal?

And then there were these guys.  Again, being a St. Patrick's Day newb, I thought maybe they were some traditional Irish thing.  I am told they are not.  In between dancing courtly dances, the animals up on stilts leered at the crowds.  They were creepy, yet captivating.  Natasha loved them and keeps asking to see the "bolshaya svinka" (big pig) again.

They were accompanied by this three-piece band of, I believe, Russians, who played lively Irish music that was not creepy.  That was really cool.

They were also accompanied by these guys.  I am not sure what they were supposed to be, but the costumes were pretty awesome.

There were also a bunch of young hooligans on stilts (again, I thought maybe stilts were a St. Patricks' Day thing - but apparently they aren't).

And some random characters.

And a few Irish setters.

 Oh, and Groupon was there too.

In the evening, we went to a party at the Marine House so that the girls could see the live band playing Irish music.  They were fans.


  1. That is truly the weirdest St Paddy's day parade I have ever seen! Thanks for posting.

  2. no doubt, the pigs on stills are irish. I believe they were chased out of Ireland by St. Patrick, right after he took care of the snakes. No wonder Tasha likes the big pigs!

  3. LOL. Slutty witch. hahahahaha


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