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Can you tell I’m excited?! Christmas is my favourite time of year, and so this week I thought I’d look into how Christmas is celebrated in Russia.

To say there were a few things that surprised me would be an understatement, here’s why…

  • The official Christmas holiday last from the 31st December to the 10th January.
  • Christmas is normally celebrated on the 7th January (because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar).
  • New Years is often seen as more important to Russians – this is when Дед Мороз (Father Frost, who carries a staff) brings the children presents alongside Снегу́рочка (the Snow Maiden).
  • On Christmas Eve, Russians will have a holy supper made up of 12 dishes – one for each of the apostles.
  • Christmas/festive food includes: Kutya (porridge based dish), Kozulya (deer/goat/sheep shaped cookie), goose cooked under a sour cream sauce, and Pagach (Lentan bread).

The cultural differences are blatantly apparent, but there are two things that remain the same no matter the distance – wishing someone a happy new year (С Новым годом) and a merry Christmas (C рождеством)!