By Laman Ismayilova
There's nothing quite like experiencing winter in Azerbaijan.
Baku welcomes the holiday season with grandiose light displays and holiday decorations.
With its colorful ornaments, baubles and lights, the streets in the capital turn into a winter wonderland.
Here you can get in the holiday spirit at the traditional charity fair "Cold hands, warm heart".
The New Year's fair is one of the largest charitable projects not only in Azerbaijan but also in the whole region.
Since 2013, the project has been successfully implemented annually by the Nargis Fund.
Baku residents and the guests of the city can plunge into the pre-holiday atmosphere and stroll along the forty houses installed specially for the fair.
All of them are decorated with garlands and lanterns. The fairy-like houses sell gifts, souvenirs, handicrafts and much more. Some people can be found next to the play areas for children and adults.
This year, all funds raised at the fair will be directed to the treatment of children with serious illnesses, as well as to help families and relatives of the martyrs of the Patriotic War.
For those who are hungry, there are street food courts, where everyone can warm up drinking hot beverages and delicious food.
The whole street is filled with mouthwatering scents of cinnamon, evergreen, vanilla and other delicious scents.
After shopping, Baku residents fill the hall of the State Opera and Ballet Theater to enjoy Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet Nutcracker.
For many years, ballet has mesmerized children and adults all over the world.
The ballet is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 fairy tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It premiered at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg in 1892.
New Year trees are installed in Azneft Square, Baku Boulevard, Fountain Square and other parts of the capital.
A fabulous fireworks show is set off in Baku Boulevard at midnight. Everyone embraces the New Year with an open heart and soul.
Those who like winter landscapes can visit beautiful Nohur in Gabala region. The man-made lake is especially beautiful in winter when it is covered by ice
The thickness of the ice cover on the surface of the lake can reach 40-50 cm. Frozen water causes an astonishing variety of patterns from bubbles to jagged lines.
If you're looking for a perfect winter vacation, there are plenty of great options in Azerbaijan.
The country embraces and celebrates New Year to the fullest with plenty of spectacular concerts, charity fairs, colorful shows and much more.
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