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Too cold for school in Yakutsk, as temperature hits minus 45C

By 0 and 0 and 0
21 December 2015


It was the first time temperatures reached minus 45C (minus 49F) this winter, triggering the closure for younger students. Pictures here and below: Vera Salnitskaya

Grades 1 to 5 were cancelled on Monday in Yakutsk, the world's coldest city, which is located in the permafrost region in the Sakha Republic. It was the first time temperatures reached minus 45C (minus 49F) this winter, triggering the closure for younger students. 

However, those aged over 11 were expected to attend classes and kindergartens also remained open so that parents of younger children could still work if they were ready to take their youngsters out in such bone-chilling temperatures. 

Nadezhda and Anastasia


On the street

Nadezhda, aged 6, walked to her kindergarten classes with her aunt Anastasia like many other Yakutsk residents. 

In fact, thermometers can sink much lower in Yakutsk. The lowest temperature recorded in Yakutsk was minus 64.4C (minus 83.9F).

For students aged 12 to 14, schools shut their gates when the cold dips to minus 48C (minus 54.4F). Those aged 15 to 17 have to attend school unless the temperature plunges to minus 50C (minus 58F).

But local children think nothing of going to kindergarten and school in winter cold that would close classes in many parts of the world. Recently our photographer Vera Salnitskaya caught up with children in Yakutsk as they went to school in temperatures of minus 30C (minus 22F).

Renat and Maria



Renat, 9, taken to lessons by his mother Maria. Kostya, 10, is going to school by himself. 

Nadezhda, aged 6, walked to her kindergarten classes with her aunt Anastasia. 'I'm not cold, and I was even sweating while walking,' she said. 'I put on two socks, tights, leggings and warm trousers. And I am not cold. I like winter. And I play the violin.'

Renat, 9, was taken to lessons by mother Maria, and said: 'We can skip school when it is too cold. On other days, I put two pairs of warm pants (trousers) and we are not cold.'

Aikhal and Anastasia

Schoolchildren in Yakutia

Aikhal, 5, went to kindergarten with his mother Anastasia. Nikolay, 12, must attend school lessons even if it is minus 45C. 

Aikhal, 5, went to kindergarten with his mother Anastasia. 'I am not cold,' he boasted. 'Usually we take 30 minutes to get ready, then go on foot. We can go to the kindergarten at any temperature, there is no limit.'

Mark, 5, puts on a down coat coat and the obligatory two layers of trousers, along with serious head gear. His father Andrey said: 'We have breakfast and dress. Sometimes we walk on foot, sometimes go by bus.'

Mark and Andrey

Valya and Sargylana


Mark, 5, and his father Andrey. Valya, 6, and her mother Sargylana.

Vlad, 7, was on his way to lessons with his mother Anastasia, 28. 'Classes start at 8.40 am, after the New Year they will begin at 8 am. We wake Vlad in one hour before we need to go, he has time to have breakfast and watch cartoons. We usually cook porridge, not that this is his favourite.'

Vlad said: 'I don't love sandwiches. All kids in my class come to school with them, but i think it is not healthy. I will eat only shredded carrots.'




Vlad and his mom Anastasia


Vlad, 7, pictured as he is getting ready to go to school.

Anastasia said: 'Usually we go to school by car. Only when it is very cold we are to go on foot. It is hard to drive in such conditions, with frosty fog, and zero visibility.

'Usually kids go to school in down pants and change them in school. Vlad puts on tights, then down pants. We have two pairs of pants - thicker ones for the extremely cold weather and thinner ones for warmer. '

Comments (5)

We in America used to be healthy up to the early 2000s.. Signs appeared in the 90s. When you look at Martian's Tribute WDW videos you can clearly see a HUGE difference between 90s crowds and today's. Yet we had fast food and candy bars all the way back to the 1960s/70s. Candy bars have been around since the late 1800s! The mars bar was invented in the 1800s! Candy bars were actually bigger too where you had to use both hands to hold them.

Same with hamburgers they were a lot bigger in the 1980s then today's rinky dink ones and tasted better yet people were not as fat unless they had jobs that required them to sit or stand a lot where it was hard to get exercise.

In fact fat people stood out from the crowd and it was hard to not notice. They usually had "beer bellies".
31/05/2018 01:49
These children do look very healthy, they remind me of how our kids used to look years ago. Most likely because they're not getting as much processed foods and sugars in their diet. I don't know there's just a look about them their
eyes are bright their skin is clear and they just look healthy.
linda caldwell, North Manchester INDIANA USA
09/02/2018 01:15
Coming soon.
Maxim, Dharamshala
21/05/2017 15:49
Healthy children !
Jocelyne, FRANCE
22/12/2015 19:51
flue or colds or sniffles and the likes, for sure THIS kids have never heard of them.
i remember when i was working i nKirov it was also cold,very cold. but the sun was shining, no wind and humidity.and one does not feel it is that cold. it is actually dangerous. you might want to undress and can get sunburn....
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
22/12/2015 08:58

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