|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.
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.
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.