Whilst the popularity of the traditional circus seems to have declined in recent years it is still a very important part of Russian culture. Most cities house their own circus and welcome many of the touring circuses around Europe, Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. Animals are still a common and important part of the circus in Russia. People will have differing views regarding performing animals. One thing to consider in a country like Russia, outside of the largest cities which may have a zoo, the circus may be the only opportunity for a lot of people to see animals for real. Not all animals perform, some are just led around the circus arena for the audience to see, it is a chance to see an 'exotic' animal up close (exotic can mean anything from a porcupine to a black panther). I can only hope that a circus of such prestige and fame treats and trains its animals humanely. This circus, also known as the Old Moscow Circus, is fabulous. Their Christmas show was full of great live music, fun, excitement and incredible colour. Add a visit from Father Frost and his Snow Maidens, well, what more could a child (aged 6 or 36!) want?!