Autumn day in Moscow

with 4 Comments

The Ukrainian language has an absolutely beautiful word for November: листопад.

It’s literally лист (leaf)пад (falling, from the verb падать). Листя падає, the leaves are falling. Isn’t that a perfect description of November?

The months in Russian, like in English, don’t have such poetic names but листопад (or sometimes осенний листопад) is still used to describe this seasonal phenomenon. Here are some examples I found in a quick Google search:

Осенний листопад стал причиной подтоплений, Autumn leaf fall causes flooding

Осенний листопад в Instagram, Autumn leaf fall on Instagram

Как люди радуются последним дням листопада, How people enjoy the final days of falling leaves

Неплохо устроить семейную прогулку в парк после листопада, It’s nice to take a family walk in the park after the leaves fall

The leaves were starting to fall as we walked through Moscow.

This park was resisting листопад

Have you noticed that Russian parents dress their babies in full winter gear from pretty much September to June? Check out this little girl all bundled up in a snowsuit + mittens as she fed the pigeons!

It wasn’t quite шуба (fur coat) season for adults yet, but most people at least had warm hats on-

Even so early in the season, it was cold! Babushkas were already selling gloves and wool scarves on the street. If we’d stayed there longer, I would have broken down and bought some. We had packed more for the warmth of Anapa than the chill of Moscow, so we layered on all our clothes to go out and explore.

The temperature was down to 4C/39F as we boarded a river cruise. Except for us and two parka-wearing German brothers, all other passengers made a beeline for the heated indoor cafe, only venturing up to the deck after the crew handed out heavy blankets. With the blankets + hot tea, it was possible to sit up there a little longer as the boat passed this park full of fall colors.

I think we just missed the moment of maximum листопадhere’s a Moscow news video from last fall showing true листопад colors. An excuse for another visit next year maybe? 😉

What’s it like where you are? Are you experiencing листопад?

4 Responses

  1. Jii
    | Reply

    In Finland we already had листопад. Now we’re having snow here. In Finnish we have the word “ruska” which basically means almost the same thing as листопад. Ruska means the season when the leaves are having beautiful colors and they are falling down… ?

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Oooh, “ruska” is a lovely word! Thank you for teaching me some Finnish, Jii. 🙂 Hope you’re now enjoying the снегопад!

  2. Ruth Elisabeth
    | Reply

    No autumn in southern Spain where I’m on a study break. It’s got cooler (but still comparatively warm) without the gorgeousness of листопад.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Off on another adventure, how wonderful! That sounds like a good idea before another Eastern European winter begins, brr. (If you’re still teaching there, not sure…) Enjoy the nice weather, Ruth Elisabeth!

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