The anniversary V Festival of the Russian Geographical Society has wrapped up in Moscow. More than 700,000 people visited its venues in Zaryadye Park in the span of 11 days. The main event of the year in the field of geography and tourism was highly appreciated by Muscovites and guests of the city. Perhaps, never before have the natural and cultural riches of our vast country been so vividly and in such detail presented in one place. It was a fascinating and memorable trip across Russia that really allowed you to rediscover it!
The Days of Yakutia, Bashkiria and the Urals, the Voronezh and Ulyanovsk Regions, learning about the art of the peoples of Dagestan and the Don, songs in different languages, and national dances of the north and south of Russia, performances and lectures, competitions and khorovods – the holiday on the main stage of Zaryadye did not subside for a minute. The artists were invariably thanked with applause, people were singing along, sometimes the audience themselves started dancing to the lively music.
In between the artists’ performances, the guests of the Festival took part in quizzes dedicated to Russia and geographical science with great pleasure. The correct answer to an interesting question is a good training before the upcoming Geographical Dictation at the end of October. As a keepsake, the most knowledgeable participants were given useful and nice souvenirs from the RGS.
The Festival hosted the award ceremony for the winners of the photo contest of the Russian Geographical Society "The Most Beautiful Country". The works of laureates and finalists were presented in the northern tunnel of the park. These are dozens of landscapes and portraits of fantastic beauty, which visitors simply could not help but like.
“I liked the exhibition ‘The Most Beautiful Country’ very much. At first we did not know about it, but we were told about it at the tourist center. They suggested we visited it, because there were amazing photos there! We live in the era of Instagram, we have seen a lot of photos, so at first we were skeptical. We went in, and the place was the bomb! Impressive! The photos were chosen with great taste!” said Elena from Lyubertsy.
She was seconded by young Karina, "I thought it would not be very good, but it's so beautiful here! And you can listen to a lot of interesting things about the cities of Russia."
Photos of "The Most Beautiful Country" enchanted another Elena – from Moscow. She also noted the informative video tours across Russian cities, which were selected during the competition of the RGS "The Best Guide of Russia". Short videos were shown on special stands with headphones next to the photo exhibition. "I would like them to be made even longer," the guest of the Festival emphasized.
“We are back for the second time. We visited everywhere, walked around. But returned to watch these films,” Elena added.
An exhibition dedicated to the mountains of Russia was set up on a hill above the main stage. Looking for clues along the chain of stands from the Sikhote-Alin to the Khibiny, the quest participants learned many interesting facts from geography and history, got acquainted with different mountainous regions and their sights. At the end of the unusual walk one could take a photo on the top of Elbrus against the backdrop of the snowy Caucasus Mountains and receive a souvenir.
“We are geographers. We tested our knowledge, it was up to snuff. ‘Mountain Quest’ is a very interesting innovation. There are insightful and interesting facts on the stands. This will be of interest even to those people who are far from geography. It is written in an interesting and understandable language,” said Alexander and Sabina, students at the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University and MGIMO, adding that they will definitely come to the Festival of the Russian Geographical Society next year.
Virtual diving to the bottom of Lake Baikal was very popular. In 11 days, 4,158 people plunged into the depths of this amazing lake in the bathyscaphe of the Russian Geographical Society. At least 10,000 guests of the Festival visited the exhibitions dedicated to the Konstantinovskaya Medal and the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in Sevastopol, VR-cinema. Documentaries about Russia, travel, geography, and history were shown on the main stage in the evening. Many films were shown for the first time.
“I like the Festival. Everything is very good and interesting. Tasks and quests. We didn’t know everything, but we looked around, learned a lot of new things,” Maxim from the Moscow Region.
Master classes for children were held every day at the lecture halls of Zaryadye’s Nature Center and at stands of various regions of Russia. The young guests of the geographical forum got acquainted with the tracks and habits of wild animals, minerals and soils, landforms and terrestrial ecosystems, learned to identify plants and tie sailor’s knots. Children drew and sculpted, danced and sang, gaining useful knowledge while playing, mastering new skills, getting acquainted with the nature, history, and culture of their homeland.
“I drew, assembled puzzles, got a fortune cookie. It's interesting here, we'll walk around some more! We love to travel around Russia,” admitted a very young Dasha from Moscow, who came to Zaryadye with her mother.
“It is interesting to us. It is educational not only for children. We thought at first, it will be an opportunity to educate our kid. But now, we ourselves are learning. We are passing through; we have a break between trains. Went for a walk and stumbled upon it by accident. But we've been sucked in!” Tatyana from Petrozavodsk.
Many regions of Russia presented their own exhibitions at the RGS Festival. From Vasilievsky Descent one could see the colorful traditional dwellings of the peoples of Yakutia and Bashkiria. The square smelled magically of the Don lavender and Crimean herbs; visitors were fascinated by the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, the routes of the Urals, and the reserves of the Far East. All sorts of people were here, in the very center of Moscow. You wanted to see everything at once, to hit the road immediately, the guests admitted.
“Very interesting! Got a lot of educational information. I will try to travel around Russia,” promised Oleg from Moscow.
People came to the RGS Festival several times, brought friends and family members. Even those who came to the capital for a short time did not want to leave Zaryadye.
“I come from the Urals. I'm from Chelyabinsk. There are many interesting stands from different regions of Russia. There are many things to see. You can even receive gifts. It's interesting here! I'm in Moscow only for a day, but I want to see more,” confessed the guest of the Festival of the RGS Artyom.
During these 11 days, our huge country has become closer for many people. There is nothing more beautiful than the desire to know the world. To acquaint people with the beauty of nature and the richness of Russia's culture, to cultivate a sense of patriotism, to awaken the desire to learn something new about the motherland, to look at it with one's own eyes in distant wanderings is one of the main goals of the Russian Geographical Society. We look forward to seeing you again next year at the RGS Festival!