Football fans visiting Ekaterinburg for the 2018 FIFA World Cup had a chance to explore the traditional Urals folk culture by going to the Skazov Park in the Sverdlovsk Region, the park's Deputy Director Nikita Malyshev said during a news conference at the Ekaterinburg City Press Center.
According to Malyshev, football fans from Peru, Germany, Japan, Korea, as well as a number of other countries took a walk around the park. They were all bemused by the strange creatures that greeted them there.
"We offered our visitors a chance to get to know not only about Russian fairy tales but the Urals culture in general. We proudly showed them local customs and rites, and we even got them to learn our round dance. In addition to all this we put a visit to a traditional bath-house on the agenda. There are two types of bath houses: a black one and a traditional one. Our visitors alas were afraid to try out the black establishment, but it seems they enjoyed themselves at the traditional one. Every tour ended with everyone hugging each other in a rather friendly manner, and it was not uncommon for football fans to invite us to visit them," Malyshev pointed out.
The tour included an animator dressed as Baba-Yaga, the famous old witch from Slavic folklore, who made predictions on match results, Malyshev said, adding that the predictions were 99 percent accurate.
However, it was a pity Baba-Yaga ended up practically scaring the life out of some of our visitors, who after that were reluctant to speak one word to her, the animator said.
"They thought that I was evil, and many football fans when they saw me were really frightened. But once the activities started they did not want to leave, and were no longer afraid of me or any other fairy tale characters," she noted.