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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Spectacular snow fireworks as Russians celebrate the deep cold of winter

By The Siberian Times reporter
07 February 2019

Low temperatures are a time for fun in -50C and below - riding bikes, ice swimming or eating frozen noodles.

The results are striking - like real fireworks but entirely without any explosives. Picture: @borozdin3

The amazing snow fireworks are caused by throwing hot water into the cold air in extreme cold. 

The results are striking - like real fireworks but entirely without any explosives. 

Some locals felt the need to peel off their clothes to mark the deep cold. 

Here we show a collection of videos from around Siberia where temperatures have plunged to their lowest of the winter in many areas. 

Photographer nicknamed @borozdin3, from Nizhnevartovsk posted a stunning photoshoot where the vaporing water forms wings around a girl.

Ekaterina Varnava, from Krasnoyarsk, posted on 5 February 'For those who are wondering what happens when boiling water meets extreme cold.'

It was -40C at the moment of the shoot, she said.

Cold Challenge - Krasnoyarsk


Cold Challenge - Nizhnevartovsk

'For those who are wondering what happens when boiling water meets extreme cold.' Pictures: Ekaterina Varnava, @borozdin3

Officially the coldest in Western Siberia was Tomsk region on the night 1-2 February when the cold hit -48C.

Many people on their own thermometers registered even colder temperatures, for example -52C in Nechaevo, Novosibirsk region. 

In Lesosibirsk a man rode a bike at -45C, ,even though this company provides a bus for him to get to work, and he anyway owns a car. 

He prefers to ride in the extreme chill.

In Novosibirsk, on February 3 at around -32C, Sergey Mischenko tried to eat instant noodles - but they were frozen.

So he took a plunge in an ice hole. 

Sergey’s wife Marina said he came originally from Kazakhstan, but is now a convert to the real cold in Siberia.


Elsewhere local cold swimmers made a photoshoot in the ice hole. 

They gave some tips of cold swimming in such temperatures.

First, everything must be done very quickly: if you delay at least two minutes, you freeze both your fingers and your ears. 

And, of course, dress speedily after bathing -  for example, use two pairs of mittens.

Not everyone likes them cold.

Cold swimmers in Novosibirsk


Cold swimmers in Novosibirsk


Cold swimmers in Novosibirsk

Elsewhere local cold swimmers made a photoshoot in the ice hole. Pictures: Stanislav Lukashevich

On 5 February in Krasnoyarsk actor Sergey Danilenko arranged a protest - he came to the square near the city administration building with a poster declaring: ‘Why it is so cold? Enough!'. 

He was quickly kicked out by the guards. 

A day earlier an Airbus  А-330-300 from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk had to detour as it was about the land. 

The reason? It was below -40C and too cold for the aircraft’s tyres. 

So the passengers were flown to Novosibirsk instead. 

Sergey Danilenko

Sergey Danilenko came to the square near the city administration building with a poster declaring: ‘Why it is so cold? Enough!'. 

Dubak is the slang name given for strong cold; it provokes a spirit of challenge in Russians as thermometers plunged from the Urals to the Pacific. 

Renat Yagudin, from Nosobirsk Hydrometeorological Centre, said: 'From the very first days of February, the frosts have already broken the records of a particular day, beginning on 1 February, when an Arctic anticyclone invaded our  region. 

‘So, on the night of 2 February, the temperature in the region dropped from -33C to to -45C….

‘It was also cold in the neighbouring Tomsk and Kemerovo regions - around  minus 44-45 degrees Celsius.’

Cold provokes a spirit of challenge in Russians as thermometers plunged from the Urals to the Pacific. Pictures: Artem Arafailov, __helena_m__ , Tatyana Kuzmina, Olesya Pavlova, matador_gt, Madina Ogorelkova, katrin22region, Elena De Leske

Cold Challenge - Yekaterinburg


Cold Challenge - Tynda


Cold Challenge - Angarsk


Cold Challenge - Krasnoyarsk


cold Challenge - Barnaul


cold Challenge - Novy Urengoy


cold Challenge - Barnaul


Cold Challenge - Tobolsk

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