Christmas and New Year are two holidays that are close to the hearts of people in Russia and Ukraine. Christmas is one holiday that the entire world celebrates. While it was banned during the Soviet times, Christmas has regained its popularity in Russia as well as in Ukraine. Christmas day is a family holiday in Russia and Ukraine, and Russian women celebrate it with their families and friends. New Year, however, is more popular than Christmas in Russia and Ukraine because of the decades of Soviet propaganda which denied citizens of the right to celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter.
Christmas in Russia and Ukraine
Unlike in other parts of the world where Christmas Day is celebrated every December 25, people in Russia and Ukraine celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ every January 7. This is because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the old Julian calendar for religious celebrations. Christians in other parts of the world, however, follow the Gregorian calendar. Many practicing Christians in Russia observe a 40-day Lent before Christmas Day, wherein they don’t eat anything until the first star appears in the sky on Christmas Eve. Christmas night in Russia also signals the start of the fortune-telling, wherein young girls would try to read fortune using tea leaves, mirrors, and candle wax. Most of the fortune-telling would revolve around guessing how their future husbands would look like when the guy would appear in a girl’s life, and whether or not their married life would be a happy one.
New Year in Russia and Ukraine
Because Christmas was not celebrated for many decades, the celebration of New Year has become more important to people in Russia and Ukraine. For many Russian women, New Year is a more significant event than Christmas. The most festive and traditional New Year celebration in Russia is held in the Red Square which sits next to Kremlin. Every year, more than 100,000 people gather for the festivities. It is highly anticipated that tickets are usually sold out weeks before the event. Across the country, people set up private parties to welcome the New Year. These parties won’t be complete without traditional Russian food. Hosts typically set up a zakuska table feature bite-sized snacks like caviar, dark bread, pickles and marinated mushrooms with drinks. In Ukraine, New Year is considered the most important public holiday. They come together every December 31st and present gifts to each other. Like in Russia, the biggest New Year’s party is held at the capital city of Kyiv where thousands of inhabitants and guests converge to welcome the New Year.
Christmas and New Year are significant holidays for Russian women as well as their families. Don’t forget to greet your Ukrainian or Russian lady on these important days by sending her a gift, or even a flower. Your lady love will surely appreciate being remembered on these dates.