What impact does Christmas have in Russia

New Year's Eve and Christmas are the biggest holidays in Russia

New Year's Eve has a very special place in Russia. Since there was no Christmas party in the familiar sense there for a long time, there are gifts on New Year's Eve, get-togethers with friends and family and, not infrequently, a boozy celebration.

New Year's Eve and Christmas are closely linked in Russia

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Russia is very similar to Christmas in Germany. The background: At the time of the Soviet Union, all religious festivals were banned, which increased the appreciation of the other holidays. For the Russians, New Year's Eve is the big highlight at the end of the year. On this day the Christmas tree is decorated, which is similar to our Christmas tree. The giving of presents in Russia also takes place on New Year's Eve.

There is a happy atmosphere until January 7th. Christmas has been celebrated on this day in Russia since 1991. The date is related to the fact that the Russian Church uses the Julian calendar to calculate time. There, January 7th corresponds to December 25th.

Christmas Eve is celebrated in Russia on January 6th. Since Christmas is the largest religious festival, a large festival mass takes place in all churches on the night of January 6th to 7th.

New Year's Eve in Russia: Ded Moroz and Snegurochka

Shortly before New Year's Eve, the children are longingly waiting for Ded Moroz ("Father Frost") and his granddaughter Snegurotschka ("Snow Maiden"). The duo come at night by sleigh, which, contrary to the European Santa Claus tradition, is not pulled by reindeer but by horses. Ded Moroz is a stocky, white-bearded man who looks a lot like Santa Claus or Santa Claus. When he visits, he puts gifts under the Christmas tree for the good children.

In many families, the real New Year's Eve celebrations begin in the early evening. The whole family, friends and neighbors come together at a long, richly set table and get in the mood for midnight. The dishes taste hearty and come from traditional Russian cuisine: The spectrum ranges from the famous pea and potato salad “Olivje” to “Herring in a fur coat” to meatballs and stews.

Plenty of vodka and sparkling wine

Vodka and sparkling wine should of course not be missing and are a popular souvenir on this day. Meanwhile, the major Russian TV channels such as ORT usually broadcast a real party and concert marathon with all of the country's big stars. The transmission continues until the early hours of the morning.

That being said, New Year's Eve is our custom in Russia: the President’s New Year’s address is broadcast at midnight. Before that, the big fireworks will be broadcast from Red Square in Moscow. Many also set off their own fireworks at midnight.