How Russian ladies prefer to celebrate New year and Christmas holidays?
The New Year is without any doubt is considered as the most principal holiday of the year Russian families around the world. New Year is celebrated on December 31, combining very specific traditions that define the Russian New Year from others countries.
Table of content:
- How to meet New Year’s Eve?
- Santa Claus with granddaughter and gifts
- Traditions and rites
- Christmas traditions in Russia
- The significance of the Christmas holiday
- What can not be done at Christmas?
- Christmas table in Russia
- Modern traditions
How to meet New Year’s Eve?
Well-known fact is, that New Year’s Eve for Russian ladies is both a family get together holiday and with the closest friends. Usually, the celebration starts around 10 pm and continues until midnight. A huge family dinner is held with many relatives and presents. Irreplaceable things of the New Year table are the traditional salad “Olivie”, champagne and oranges.
Closer to midnight, the evening becomes quitter: quests drink; Russian ladies discuss the previous year and all the events, and of course, thinks about plans for future, upcoming year.
Five minutes before the midnight, everybody is holding the glass of champagne and listening the speech of the President of Russia. This tradition emerged in 1976 and is continued every year. During the battle of the Kremlin clock Russian ladies make their wishes, congratulate each other and continue to eat, dance and celebrate.
Around one o’clock in the morning, everything is arranged for the most spectacular firework on the main Red Square. According to social media information, every year 2-3 million rubles are spent on fireworks. Russian ladies prefer to watch the show on the main square or on TV at home and after to skate. You will not see as many people on the streets on usual day, as in New Year’s night.
The salute is the official start of the celebration! After it, the holiday is turning from family to a fabulous party with closest friends. Russian ladies visit most of the friends, they gather together and continue to party at the disco clubs, restaurants or bars. Drinks, a lot of food, fun and dances are waiting for you until the early morning of January 1th. Make sure you saved a lot of energy to survive this night.
Santa Claus with granddaughter and gifts
The New Year in Russia without Santa Claus and his granddaughter – not a holiday at all. If American Santa Claus does need help, Russian Santa Claus requires help of Snegurochka. There is a difference in clothes as well. Unlike from other Santa Clauses, Russian Santa is dressed in very long coat, blue colour, he crosses cities only on three horses and hold a magic staff in his hand.
As concern the gifts, they are prepared in advanced, wrapped and collected under the tree. The tradition is to give them to each other right after twelve o’clock. Moreover, it is a well-known fact that Russian ladies love presents and always expect them from men. There is no such tradition as to send gift via post, usually they are given in person.
Traditions and rites
Over the three hundred year already, Russian people celebrate the New Year. There is no such thing as Russian tradition for New Year; it is a mix of European, American and some from past Soviet period. The main symbols is a green tree in the corner of the house, grandfather with white beard, who is coming to give presents to everybody.
Russian Santa Claus is living in Veliky Ustyug since 1998. There is a post office where every child or even young Russian ladies can write a letter, with most desired wishes, a souvenir shop – great place to purchase a present for holidays, and of course, his residence. Annually hundreds of letter come from all over the country and none of them stays unanswered. Santa has a lot of assistance, which help them to answer the letter. Usually kids are asking for some toys, games; however they receive a lot very touching letters, which make cry everybody.
Each family tries to celebrate New Year together. Preparations for the great night take all December. Russian ladies can look for gifts for weeks and buy them in last minute. Usually all the shops shine with gifts, colourful signs and cards. The main Red Square and others are decorated with many trees, toys and Santa Claus is waiting for everybody to listen to your wishes. Do not be shy to seat on his knee or make a picture.
Last fifty years New Year in Russia was painted in two colours: red a green. Green as symbol of main tree and red as a symbol of holiday and festivity. These two colours come from Soviet Union era. Russian New Year is sparkling champagne, “ Olivie “ salad, red caviar on table, next to New Year’s Eve TV shows and closest people together, even if it is just for one evening.
Christmas traditions in Russia
You probably knows that Christian Christmas is celebrated in Orthodox and Catholic families. The origin of the holiday goes back around two millennia, when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to her son, known as Jesus Christ. Nowadays, Catholics feast it on December 25th, but Orthodox families on the night of January 6th.
The significance of the Christmas holiday
Starting from January 6th, almost every church in Russia holds night service devoted to the birth of Jesus Christ. In old days, there were no such tradition to celebrate Christmas, sitting at the huge table, with delicious dishes. Nobody did not sit at the table until the first star in the sky. Times have changed, and now we can see Russian families celebrating Christmas on the January 7th, after a long night service. It is a magical night; do not forget to make a wish. Russian ladies are not allowed to leave the house on January 6th, only to visit church.
Exists many stories how Russian people celebrated the Christmas night. The first Christmas days usually were surrounded with kindness, warm-heartedness and care to each other, good thoughts and prays.
During the long service in churches, people pray for their families, pray for health and remember those who are not with them, on this Earth. In the early morning of Christmas time you should pray for everything you have on the table, in your house, for family and friends. Be thankful!
What can not be done at Christmas?
Traditions strictly prohibit following things on Christmas morning, of January 7th:
- swearing, wishing or saying bad things to someone or about somebody (even as a joke);
- cleaning the house, moping, repairing to take a shower (make it in advance)
- Russian ladies are not allowed to comb their hair
Christmas table in Russia
On Christmas days you can see table with variety of delicious food, Russian ladies tries to impress their guests, especially knowing that Orthodox persons hold a strict post for 40 days. Not all the dishes are the same as ten, twenty year ago: new recipes appear, new lifestyle and of course new preferences of Russian people.
The main dish remains the same – kutia. Old stories say that kutia is the symbol of prosperity and health; if Russian ladies cook sumptuous, flavoured kutia means a good year for the whole family. Another believe is that with kutia Russian people remember and respect those who are not with them on this holy celebration. Not only kutia is served: meat, vegetables, honey, butter, seeds. However, the rule is never changed: the meal starts with kutia and finishes with it.
Russian people love celebrate this beautiful holiday full of light and kindness. In the evening Russian ladies continue to estimate who will be the future fiancé and number on children they will have together. The night before Christmas everybody tries to think about a wish. Young Russian ladies and young men meet spending time together on the different events, concerts and competitions. Usually administration of the cities decorates the main squares; make ice rinks and slides, thus the holiday looks more festively.
The holidays lasts for ten days, people get full vacation, almost half of the population do not work – the longest vacation of the year is winter one. Usually on the second day of Christmas is considered as start of working week after holidays. However, on the January 17th people are happy to celebrate Russian Epiphany, which is the symbol of the end of all holidays. Some of the Russian ladies take part of the tradition to “swim in the hole”.
Do not forget about gift for these days! To buy a present is easier, especially when you know exactly what a person wants. Remember, the most important is not the actual present, but the attention. Russian ladies prefer attention and not the expensive gifts bought in the random shop. Try to impress her!