• From RIA Novosti
MOSCOW -- A blistering heat wave that has been engulfing Russia since mid-June has forced Muscovites to change their wedding traditions.
"Nobody expected such a heat wave; applications for [marriage] registrations are submitted two months in advance. ... It's sad to see newlyweds and guests limp from the heat at their wedding receptions" a wedding planner said.
Moscow newlyweds traditionally tour Moscow having their photos taken at the city's main tourist attractions after they tie the knot, but the heat is forcing couples to give the custom a miss.
There has also been a move away from the heavy spirits, usually drunk at Russian weddings, towards ice-filled cocktails, with many wedding makers ordering a full cocktail bar for the big day.
A second absolute temperature record this week was registered in Moscow on Thursday. Temperatures reached 99.8F, the Fobos meteorological center said. The previous record of 98.9F was registered on Monday.
The heat that has gripped Moscow since mid-June has become a new urban trend-setter and made Muscovites choose light beachwear for outings and even subway trips.
For the past four weeks temperatures across western Russia have topped 95F, killing scores of people and creating what is thought to be the worst drought since 1972.
RIA Novosti journalists have noticed that Muscovites try to peel off as many clothes as they can. Young women in swimsuit bras and hot pants as well as men in shorts have been seen in various stations of the Moscow metro.
On the whole, women abandon high-heeled shoes in favor of flat ones. Muscovites have tuned to doctors' advice and wear caps and hats to avoid heat stroke.
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