To visit Russia and not to get gifts is an unforgivable mistake. As in any country, Russian souvenirs reflect the full flavour history & culture. Travellers associate this country with snowy forests, bears, earflaps, balalaikas, and wooden huts - such landscapes can be found in places far from megacities where the tradition of "living as Russian" has been preserved. In big cities, such a recognizable scene is easy to see on canvases, wooden products, embroidered carpets. Simplicity & honesty, holiness & joy are reflected in Russian souvenirs because this is Russian heritage continuation, which is passed from hand to hand through centuries.
Matryoshka, matryonushka or wooden doll
It is better to get ruddy dolls in Moscow. A mysterious gift with “Russian soul” hasn’t revealed its secret yet. For several centuries, art historians have been struggling with question of its origin. It was possible to establish that the doll has Japanese roots: Fukuruma is a Japanese deity that was realized in a wooden detachable doll. An interesting fact: The Japanese believe that the creator is an unknown missionary monk from Russia. Initially, a peasant woman’s image was written in matryoshka - a modest girl with headscarf, pink cheeks, and the clothes typical for women of this kind.
Soul-warming multi-coloured shawl from Pavlovsky Posad
During cold seasons a woollen shawl was well warmed. Later it became Russian women’s favourite accessory. An attribute from the 17th century was expensive and fell in love with wealthy merchants. Shawl ornaments arose from peasant life: these are motives, flowers of heavenly beauty & elements of icon painting. Sometimes patterns on shawls is embroidered manually - such a scarf is considered more valuable than usual, woven on a special machine.
Painted trays from Zhostovo
The brushwork skill on Zhostovo trays reflects the ease & depth of Russian existence.
Paintings on tin material in Zhostovo have the phrase like “warming cold metal with your soul”. And looking at how painstakingly picturesque paintings and tracery are fashioned, the idea of gratitude for such a valiant work of masters is born.
Zhostovo is a small village in Moscow region. But history of its trays began here in 1825, with the creation of the factory “The Vishnyakov Brothers Institution”. Now its name sounds differently - "Zhostovo decorative painting factory"
The village of Zhostovo can be called picturesque in both senses of this word: little town gave birth to talented artists and artisans, whose workshops became the cultural relic of this area. Once in Zhostovo, see the old huts, where works of magnificent art were created with Slavic motifs.
Imperial Porcelain from St. Petersburg
Petersburg is a nobleman adoring genuine aesthetics. The pride and heritage of this city is the imperial porcelain factory, founded by Empress Ekaterina Petrovna. This plant is still alive, giving us delicate, fragile, snow-white-air products.
The “cobalt grid” - a reminder of the Leningrad siege turned into a famous and characteristic pattern on dish sets. On tragic days, the windows and the piercing rays of searchlights were frighteningly crossed out crosswise. One of the artists of that time captured this memory in a porcelain pattern. You can order an excursion to the legendary porcelain factory in St. Petersburg, and purchase fragile products.
Saratov bread & accordions
Thanks to the especial flour, bread in Saratov was considered the most delicious in all of Russia. Therefore, he became a symbol, and at the same time a souvenir of the city.
Saratov received the proud title of the country's bread capital. «Kalachi» - a baked product made of rounded wheat flour, hasn’t lost its relevance and travellers especially like it for its sweet taste.
An accordion is a famous icon and a tool giving birth to the role of Russian folk songs. Saratov accordion - an unusual accordion. It is interesting with bells that are suspended under the instrument and when singing songs, small devices emit magical sound combined with a distinctive timbre and sound power.
Amber from Kaliningrad
The amber splendor stretched out the Baltic coast. The former Königsberg seemed to glow by a golden light, famous for the wonderful gleam of his talent. More than 90% of world's gem reserves are located here.
Kaliningrad masters create a variety of works from amber: caskets, home decoration, jewellery, figurines, paintings, and even utensils. The most valuable is amber with plants or insects frozen inside. Just imagine that their age is millions of years old! The highest quality is transparent amber also.
Urban artisans have preserved the ancient traditions of ancestors, crafting every stone with trembling tenderness. The results of their labours find their place in museums or shop windows, becoming the legacy of each resident. The healing properties of solar jewels heal both mental and bodily diseases.
Continuing to talk about precious stones, we recall the noble malachite. The Ural stone deposit is considered the richest in the world, after malachite from Congo. The uniqueness of unusual stone is its chaotic rings, in contrast to smooth lines of minerals from an African country.
Honorable people usually adorned their homes with malachite products. Not only jewelry but also interior items are created by stone cutters. Chandelier, vases, figurines and caskets will undoubtedly bring aristocratic elegance to somebody’s house.
Products done from malachite are filled with special pride & nobleness. Its color palette conveys the charming Mother Nature’s gifts.
The elusive lace from Vologda
Vologda lace is formed by local craftswomen’s gentle hands. Northern Russia is considered to be pride of it. That deal is exclusively female, explaining the light tenderness of each product.
The first mention appeared in the 17-18 centuries. Since then, having visited Vologda, Russian residents, purchased lace products here. Tsars & wealthy aristocratic gave orders for decorating wardrobe made of linen yarn. So the fame about the city and its amazing inheritance spread. The patterns are always varied: in some places, they depict a flower, somewhere a spider web, a snowflake pattern or heroes from fairy tales. Lace mainly serves as a decoration in the house, as its snow-white colour giving a cosy atmosphere.
Souvenirs to eat
Many have heard about chocolate & black caviar. These obligatory attributes of any festive table are not only relatable but also tasty, healthy, nutritious - the main thing is to consume everything in moderation.
Going to another country, the Russians will surely take hearty Tula biscuits, healing Siberian honey & nuts, flavoured chocolate and Far Eastern caviar as presents. Tourists themselves, having tried them once, bring these products as memento, emphasizing the country’s gastronomic development.