12 Nov New Year's Eve in Russia vs. Christmas in Western Countries
The main holiday in the year is the time when families and closest people come together, when we believe in a miracle, when we are ready for new life, new achievements and feel very inspired. For many countries a holiday like that – is Christmas, but it is a New Year’s Eve in Russia.
We decided to compare Christmas in western countries and New Year’s Eve in Russia just for fun and you will get to know how things are going on in the biggest country in the world.
1. Holiday Dates /no match/
Christmas in western countries: 24-26th of December
New Year’s Eve in Russia: 31st of December – 10th of January (wow, 10 days of fun, joy and excitement!)
2. Holiday character /no match/
Christmas in western countries: Santa Claus – he brings gifts to kids, who behaved well during the year, a nice not young man, wearing red coat and often spectacles. I bet, many of you have seen him.
Main friends: Santa Claus’s 9 flying reindeer, who help him to deliver presents.
New Year’s Eve in Russia: Grandfather Frost – he brings gifts to the kids, who behaved well during the year. He is a grandfather, which might tell you about his age, also with long white beard, he wears heel-length fur coat, usually of red or blue color and jack-boots. His main attribute is magical staff, which helps him to walk and make magic!
Main friend: Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) – she is granddaughter of Grandfather Frost. She helps Grandpa to distribute the presents and make the holiday special. Snegurochka wears a fur coat of a blue color and nice semi-round fur hat.
3. Holiday decoration /match!/
Christmas in western countries: Christmas tree is set up in the house, decorated with lights and ornaments. House outside and inside is placed with lights and other x-mass decorations. Also mistletoe could be hanged on a doorway.
New Year’s Eve in Russia: New Year’s Tree is set up in house. It is often decorated with the red star in the top and with toys made from glass. Apartments are also decorated with lights and other New Year’s attributes.
4. How do people celebrate? /partial match/
Christmas in western countries: Many things differ from country to country, but what stays the same is that family and closest friends come together for festive dinner, with dishes from traditional family recipes; enjoy exchanging presents and just being around each other.
New Year’s Eve in Russia: People usually enjoy the festive dinner together either with friends or with family. Usually the TV is on and all are waiting for traditional Presidents’ message for nation.
As the clock at the Spasskaya Tower of Moscow Kremlin strikes midnight people will raise their glasses and announce a toast to the New Year, after which the dinner continues.
– to watch the same soviet movie called “The Irony of Fate”, which usually is broadcast by many channels
– to cook for dinner Olivier salad, also known as Russian salad; have champagne for drinks and mandarins (maybe as a small reminder of summer in the middle of snowy winter)
– make a wish when clock strikes midnight. Some people write down the wish on the small piece of paper, and when clock begins to strike they burn this paper, drop the ashes from paper to a glass of champagne and drink it when it is midnight sharp. After the whole procedure for sure the wish will come true!
What is more all season of New Years’ holidays (10 days!) is full of small traditions and things to do.
So much fun in winter activities, which Russians enjoy: skating and skiing, playing snowballs, making snowman.
During holidays on the 7th of January is the Orthodox Christmas, which is also celebrated with fortune telling at night and Christmas carols.
And here is even the notion of Old New Year. Does that sound weird? Well, it is. Come to Russia to find out what it means!
Find out more about our closest tours to Moscow and St Petersburg.
By the way, it is a great idea to come to Russia in the winter and we give you a great chance to experience New Year’s Eve on any winter day!