Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas In Russia

Since America is going to befriend Russia and the Russians determined who’s President in the U.S. with Putin even sending a Christmas letter (how sweet of him) to Mr. Trump, we might as well have a look at how they celebrate Christmas over there. And who knows, maybe that’s what is gonna be next in the U.S. I include a few Russian terms so everybody can get started on a language course.

First thing we have to learn is that Christmas in Russia
  (Russian: Рождество Христово Rozhdestvis  Khristovo, in the Russian Orthodox Church called Е́же по пло́ти Рождество Господа Бога и Спа́са нашего Иисуса Христа) is not celebrated on December 25 but on January 07 and marks the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is mainly a religious event in Russia. On Christmas Eve (6 January), there are several long services, including the Royal Hours and Vespers combined with the Divine Liturgy. The family will then return home for the traditional Christmas Eve "Holy Supper", which consists of 12 dishes, one to honor each of the Twelve Apostles. Devout families will then return to church for the "всенощная" All Night Vigil. Then again, on Christmas Morning, for the "заутренняя" Divine Liturgy of the Nativity. Since 1992 Christmas has become a national holiday in Russia, as part of the ten-day holiday at the start of every new year.
redstar                   Not the Star of Bethlehem Folks!

In Russia, the Christmas holiday became the official celebration with the baptism of Rus' ordered by Prince Vladimir in the late 10th century, however, given the early Christian community Kievan Rus', celebration likely has a longer history.

wooden russian church

     They got some beautiful old churches

During the Soviet period, religious celebrations were discouraged by the official state policy of atheism. Christmas tree and related celebrations were gradually eradicated after the October Revolution. In 1935, in a surprising turn of state politics, the Christmas tradition was adopted as part of the secular New Year celebration. These include the decoration of a tree, or "ёлка" (spruce), festive decorations and family gatherings, the visit by gift-giving "Ded Moroz" (Дед Мороз "Grandfather Frost") and his granddaughter, "Snegurochka" (Снегурочка "The Snowmaiden").

I hope that this educational posting can in a small way contribute to the future amalgamation and understanding with the Federal Republic of Russia.



  1. Interesting stuff. My Cyrillic is a bit rusty.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. We were just in Serbia where they are also Orthodox and where they also write in Cyrillic. Really welcoming people however which we didn't expect based on the reputation...but then, that's what's great about travel.

    Rats, so from "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas" we can expect the new greeting next year to be Рождество Христово? Great :)


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