When you think of Russia, you usually think of winter, snow and cold. Although this isn’t the case for the entire year and completely depends on where you are in the country, it is wintertime in Kazan at the moment: winter, snow and cold. Let’s talk a little more about the weather in this blog post.
Are you ready for -20 degrees celsius?
Before I left for Kazan, I checked several weather apps on a daily basis. Numbers like -15 and -20 degrees celsius sounded completely crazy for me and I was prepared for the worst. Generally, I do not really like winter. Winter in Denmark is equal to darkness, rain and wind for 5 months, where you basically develop a depression at the end of February.
The most frequent question I get when people find out that I have moved to Russia: “Isn’t it terribly cold ?!” And honestly … yes and no. Let me explain why.
- Yes, it’s cold. You’ll get red cheeks from the cold and if you’re standing in line for an hour to take a dip, your feet will probably feel numb, but in fact, the winter here is not as horrible as you might imagine it.
There are four reasons why:
- Russia has continental climate, and therefore there is not as much moisture in the air as in Denmark where there is a oceanic climate. Although the temperature may not be particularly low in Denmark, it may feel colder when it is windy. -15 degrees celsius is actually comfortable here in Russia. It’s cold, but it’s not this biting cold that goes through your entire body, which you may experience in Denmark.
- It is BRIGHT. The sky is mostly blue, the sun is shining and the snow is white. This affects one’s (at least my) mood very much. You forget all the negative aspects of the cold and you want to go outside for a walk in the beautiful winter landscape instead of sitting at home all day long. On the first picture below we were out walking on the Volga river which freezes in the winter time. The second picture below shows the same place during summer.
- People dress for the cold. I chose to wait to buy a jacket until I came to Russia, because I knew that I could get a jacket that was properly made for the weather here. Wool socks, hat, gloves, winter boots and a warm down jacket is everything here.
- The heat is turned up! Russians compensate for the cold outside by turning up the heat like crazy inside. It’s usually very hot in people’s home, in their cars and in shops. At the time of writing, I am sitting in shorts and a tanktop here while looking out on a winter landscape with 30 cm snow and -10 degrees celsius.
It’s not very practical when you’re out and you are wearing al of your winter clothes and then want to go to a supermarket or a shop where it may be +20 degrees celsius. You take off your jacket, hats and gloves as fast as possible not to faint from the heat. After sitting in a car in your full winter attire for 10 minutes, you actally look forward to get out and get some fresh air.
Listen to this podcast episode on how it was to celebrate an ice cold New Year’s Eve with -35 degrees celsius and how hard the winter was when people spent most of their time outside. Listen now.