Have you ever been to a real Christmas fair in any European city? If yes, I still doubt if you have ever been to one in Moldova! And that is a pity because Moldavian Christmas fairs could turn indeed into real winter wonderlands. Also, we can be proud of several fairs that take place in Chisinau - they all are situated in the center of the city, however, in different areas and with absolutely different decorations from year to year. Let us "follow" the three main fairs that will surely catch your eye when coming to spend your winter holidays in Moldova. There you will have the possibility not only to eat and drink traditional Moldavian dishes and beverages but also feel the real spirit of our truly generous national character. Believe me, even if you imagine our fairs as small and quiet events - get ready to change your mind!
Since the very first day of winter, the Christmas village, near the Opera and Ballet Theater, opens for everyone to visit. Every single meter is full of garlands and special Christmas decorations, such as fair trees, snowmen, little fairytale houses, and of course, kiosks with different presents, souvenirs, national ornaments, and gifts. There, also, you will have the possibility to find some peculiar dishes from our traditional cuisine, get warm with the tastiest hot wine - izvar and have fun, while taking photos with the "heroes" of the New Year festivities: Mos Craciun (Santa Claus), Fata de Zapada (Snowgirl) and their enemy Baba Yaga. The entrance is free of charge; however, make sure you bring cash for presents and treats you might need to buy.
Cathedral Square is the place where authorities try to organize the finest celebrations of the New Year. A colossal territory, a beautiful view on the Main Assembly Square, and the Christmas tree can all be found in the center of it. Typically, this fair was also popular as a "Christmas village," like the one near the Opera and Ballet Theater, however, to avoid confusing locals and visitors, the village is now called the "town for kids." Here you will also see a lot of kiosks with the Moldavian dishes, souvenirs, and other symbolical Christmas gifts. Thus, the kids' town will allow you to visit the local carousels and to feel the real Christmas mood while riding on the train with Mos Craciun himself! Photos and many other activities are included too. The entrance is free of charge and, again, it is better to take cash with you in advance.
On the 31st of August Street, between the streets of Bodoni and Pushkin, we usually host another Christmas Fair or 'Tirgul de Craciun.' Every day until mid-January, folk ensembles and local artists perform at the fair, where you can buy souvenirs, ride carousels, take photos near the splendid decorations of the market. The skating rink inside this fair is small but very beautiful and cozy. In addition to skating, at the fair, you can have a bite of 'placinta,' and drink hot tea or wine. You will feel like being in a real winter wonderland. Our people can make guests feel like home, even if they are far far away from that. The entrance is free of charge too. Be ready to take cash - not everyone accepts cards.
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