St. Petersburg carries on the traditions established in the times of Peter the Great. Three centuries ago, the most ambitious fire performances took place during the New Year's Eve and Christmas holidays. In those times, the city had already become the capital of fireworks and fire performances. Pyrotechnics, public entertainment and cannon firing made up an integral part of the winter holidays and festivities.
Today St. Petersburg invites everyone to participate online in the festival of fire! The show program includes colorful fireworks, large-scale laser and light shows, as well as original performances of the theatre of fire. The spectacle is created by masters of light and laser, artists, 3D graphics and animation designers, who will transform the venues with their art.
The event includes a competition of the most skillful pyrotechnics. Teams from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Syktyvkar and Kazakhstan will demonstrate their mastership. The members of the professional jury, the best international experts in the field of pyrotechnic art from Bulgaria, Spain, Malta, Slovakia and Germany will evaluate their skills online. Viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite performance. Voting will take place in the official group of the Festival on VKontakte and Facebook: vk.com/festivalfire, facebook.com/firefestspb, as well as on the portal https://visit-petersburg.ru
PETROVSKY FIRE FESTIVAL "CHRISTMAS STAR"
The winter solstice, which is Christmas, was celebrated especially among many peoples. Trying to overcome the darkness and free the earth from icy confinement, the ancient Slavs made fires to appease the goddess of spring, decorating trees, and waking up nature with songs and dances. Over time, candles, Christmas decorations and the star of Bethlehem appeared, bonfires turned into fireworks, but the essence of the holiday has not changed over the past millennia. Christians added a divine principle, a spiritual meaning to it, in Germany they legalized the Christmas tree, and in St. Petersburg Peter I set new standards for celebrating Christmas.
In those years, a young capital was growing on the banks of the Neva, the way of life in which more and more moved away from the old Russian customs. Noisy festivities with cannon fire, assemblies with overflowing fun, endless masquerades and scores: all this required large-scale and hitherto unseen performances.
At the same time, the Great Northern War was going on. Wishing to strengthen the spirit of his subjects and accustom them to the fire that reigned on the battlefield, Peter I developed the art of "magic fire" in the capital. St. Petersburg became the capital of fireworks and fiery performances, and Peter himself studied the art of pyrotechnics and invented coloured fire.
Amazing pyrotechnic performances, cannon firing, fiery fun: all this became an integral part of any festivities and celebrations of military successes. And the most ambitious fiery performances unfold during the Christmas period, which the Northern capital celebrated in a European manner. A lush fir tree decorated with candles, carols, fortune telling, and, invariably, amusing games with fire and fireworks have become the main symbols of the Christmas festivities.
At that time, by order of Peter I, a unique pyrotechnic theater was build near the arrow of Vasilyevsky Island, which was served by 600 pyrotechnics. Today the Fire Festival continues the traditions of the Peter the Great era.
The first fire festival was organized in 2018, continuing the historical traditions of Peter the Great for celebrating significant holidays in St. Petersburg. In 2020, the festival was attended not only by teams from Russia, but also by pyrotechnic teams from Belarus, Azerbaijan, Andorra, the USA, each of which developed a script for their show, designed to surprise the audience and give them a fabulous mood for the Christmas holidays.
As a result, more than 400 thousand people visited the "Christmas Star" in 2020, which became a record for the festival. Those who were unable to attend the event had the opportunity to watch the online broadcast on the city's Internet media sites. Note that such events are part of the city's information campaign to attract tourists to St. Petersburg after the restrictions have been lifted.