Experienced polar explorers say: the attraction of the upcoming New Year’s holiday is so great that in the end everyone joins in preparing for a celebration, even a modest one. The main wish is that all the members of the expedition return home safe and sound. It rings no matter where you are: at sea on a ship, in the ocean on a drifting ice floe not far from the South Pole.
As for the New Year’s table, then, for example, on the ship, all the participants in the voyage gather in the dining room. Mandatory items on the program: Olivier, herring under a fur coat and champagne. The captain of the ship and the head of the expedition wish them a Happy New Year, and then the informal part begins with contests, songs and dances. Only, unlike the usual celebration, no one walks until the morning. Because in the morning – a new working day and the first shift of the next year.
At coastal stations, the celebration is closer to the standard version. Each season has an artificial Christmas tree and garlands. As for toys, they are not necessarily factory-made. Polar explorers love to make their own decorations, especially snowflakes. In Antarctica, fellow polar explorers from nearby foreign stations are also invited to the holiday, which makes foreigners very happy. In their countries, the New Year is celebrated modestly, where the main holiday is Christmas.
If at the end of December a plane or ship arrives from the “mainland”, then this is a special joy for winterers: it means that there will be fresh vegetables, greens and fruits on the table. Almost like home!
And those who this year stayed at home for the New Year always remember their comrades who fulfill their difficult watch at the poles. And they are a bit envious.
This year, in addition to gifts from colleagues, polar explorers will receive congratulatory letters from ordinary people, collected at the initiative of the Arctic and Antarctic Museum and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.
polar explorers say
Andrey Mirakin, Chief Capital Construction Specialist of the Russian Antarctic Expedition:
– A lot depends on luck. But most often it turns out like this: after New Year’s Eve – to work. This is especially typical for the Progress season, a ship arrives before the New Year, its unloading falls on holidays.
Do not forget about gifts, as a rule, this is something small, symbolic. The most thrifty bring gifts with them. But many make surprises with their own hands. And it is doubly valuable!
Sergey Bondartsev, Senior Specialist of the Russian Antarctic Expedition:
– New Year is not just a holiday. We hold various contests, musical numbers. New Year’s thoughts of polar explorers are connected with home and dreams, with the return, the desire to see their family, relatives and friends.
Dmitry Serov, Senior Specialist of the Russian Antarctic Expedition:
– We also have Santa Claus with the Snow Maiden, even at stations where there are usually no girls. The costumes are made from waste materials. New Years in Antarctica in the summer and, weather permitting, we have barbecues in the open air.
Nikita Kuznetsov, head of the research vessel “Ice Base Cape Baranova” in 2020-2021:
– The most important thing on New Year’s Eve is the mood. A mandatory attribute of the holiday is a Christmas tree, they dress it up in season.
The cook and the servant are in charge of the festive table, who are assisted by several other people. If there is someone with a guitar among the winterers, we will definitely play and sing. A new tradition has also appeared: before the holiday, the whole team makes dumplings.