One of the most amazing and widespread myths about Siberia is that bears frequently walk the city streets.
Of course this is only a myth but its occurrence is not accidental. The bear is a very important symbol and a big part of Siberian culture.
Historically, in the view of East Slavic People or “Slavs” the belief about animals was very strong. This can be demonstrated in the customs, ceremonies and folklore of the Siberian people at the end of 19th century.
There was a belief that these animals understand human speech. Even various conspiracies were created to preserve against an undesirable meeting with this wild animal.
While observing the bear’s behavior and its habits Siberians could predict weather changes. For example, if the bear does not lie down in a den for a long time it means that the winter will be severe. It is also believed that a bear sleeps only on one side and as soon as it turns over on the other side that half of winter has passed. There is also another belief that a bear sucks their paw while in their den to live through the winter. Most likely it is no more than a fairy tale or an image because the bear actually lives on the fat reserved since autumn.
There is also a number of traditional beliefs such as bears can be werewolves. People were inclined to think that a person could turn into a bear in some circumstances. There was also an interesting ceremony where people would dress up as a bear for some holidays. These beliefs remain in the past, but still live in the memory of Siberian heritage.
The bear is revered for its huge force and fearlessness as the king of animals in Siberia. Siberian bears reach a huge size making their skins desirable because their wool is very fluffy, soft and long.