Holidays of Russia
Russian holidays it is the holidays of Russian people connected with
widespread national traditions of their carrying out. For a long time
already in Russia there was a set of remarkable holidays. People drove
round dances, sang songs, and lived not boringly. Every day, what that –
a holiday. But gradually traditions and holidays varied. In Russia there
are also state holidays. As state eight national holidays, first of all,
are called, are recognized non-working, holidays, namely: New Year of
the first and on second of January and a Christmas on seventh of
January. The international women’s day on eighth of March, the Holiday
of Spring and work of the first and on second of May, a Victory Day on
ninth of May, Independence Day of Russia on twelfth of June, the Day of
accord and reconciliation on seventh of November, the Constitution day
of the Russian Federation on twelfth of December. For the state
holidays, in Russia now, the combination of what remained from the
previous historical periods, and new, come to a life finding by the
country of the sovereignty and change of a political system is
In Russia a great number of Russians, with hunting celebrating
Christmas, prefer New Year. Winter holidays are tightened for some
weeks: at first we mark the western Christmas, then New Year, then
orthodox Christmas, and then old New Year. But nevertheless a favorite
holiday in this long train of celebrations – New Year, mark in the night
from December, 31st for January, 1st. It is the holiday most ancient and
most favorite among Russians.
The main attributes of celebrating of New Year it: a live fur-tree (the
truth, in modern Russia the artificial fur-tree – because of
availability and possibility of reusable use is preferred), various
Christmas-tree decorations, and also obligatory gifts for favorite and
close people. The main characters, it is possible to tell, heroes of a
holiday are Father Frost and the Snow Maiden – without them cannot
manage not only mass celebrating, but also a private congratulation that
madly pleases children.
The basic dishes on a celebratory table make salads, hot, fruit
(tangerines) and a considerable quantity of spirits (in particular
champagne). Any New Year does not do without fireworks, Bengal fires,
crackers and salutes.
In comparison with other world, Russia actively celebrates two New
Year’s holidays. One in the night from December, thirty first for
January, first, and the second, “Old New year” on thirteenth of January
that surprises foreigners got on New Year’s holidays to Russia as at the
majority of the countries arrival of New year means much, only change of
a calendar cycle and widely it is not marked (celebrated), attaching
special significance to Christmas. Now it seems to us that so was
always. But the tradition of a meeting of New Year is much younger, than
in the countries of Europe. New Year in Ancient Russia, as well as at
many other people, began in March and merged with the pagan holiday of a
pancake week marking a seeing-off of winter and a meeting of spring. In
the tenth century with Christianity acceptance to Russia has come
юлианский a calendar on which year began on first of September. But only
in the end of the fifteenth century this date began to be marked
(celebrated) officially as the beginning of church and civil New Year.
And only Peter I, carrying out calendar reform, in 1700 has established
(installed) the beginning of New Year since January, 1st. The special
decree Peter I demanded solemn and cheerful celebrating of this event.
Moscow, therefore all celebrating was capital then passed (took place)
on Red Square. However since 1704 of a celebration have been transferred
(carried) to northern capital. However, in those days not feast and
national гуляния was the main thing. By January, 1st of the house of
grandees and commoners were decorated by fur-tree or pine branches which
needed to be dressed up not toys, as now, and fruit, vegetables, nuts
and even eggs. And all products were not only an ornament, but also
symbols: apples were a symbol of fertility, egg a symbol of harmony and
full well-being. Since then the meeting of New Year with a green
fur-tree, needles, and then with Father Frost and the Snow Maiden became
on first of January traditional in our country. Old New Year is the
holiday marked (celebrated) according to New Year on юлианскому to a
calendar (now in the night from 13 for January, 14th) and being, as a
matter of fact, a historical echo of change of chronology. It (He) is
known and popular in Russia though it is marked (celebrated) also in
Serbia, Switzerland and some other countries. It (He) is marked
(celebrated) in a greater degree by those who could not meet New Year on
thirty first of December. And also the Russian orthodox Christians who
observe from November, twenty till January, sixth the Christmas post and
which to meet New year on Julian sky style more conveniently not to
break instructions of the Christmas post.
Since 1991 as the state holiday the Christmas marked in Russia on
seventh of January has been restored. The announcement of an orthodox
religious holiday a day off in such multinational country as Russia has
demanded the flexible mechanism of the account of national and religious
traditions of all people. Every time when we step over a threshold of
New Year, on a shower it becomes especially warm, because in some days
there will come the Christmas Holiday! A Christmas – surprising time
when heart is filled with miracle expectation… And this miracle
occurs! «The Christ is born, glorify! » – Rushes over the Universe, –
«the Christ from heavens, meet! » – All world sings of glory of the
Creator. Angelic forces and mankind – together glorify what love has no
borders. And, probably, therefore a Christmas name «Winter Easter». Each
of us tries to spend this day not how any another: to present good and
love to the loved one, to become better, and the most important thing –
is closer to God. On January, 6th at 12 o’clock in the morning solemn
divine service in orthodox temples begins. And on January, 7th it is
accepted to congratulate friends and native on this light holiday.
Unlike Europeans who aspire to note Christmas in the bosom of the
family, and even doors close, in Russia it is accepted to hold doors
opened that all who wishes to celebrate Christmas came, to share
celebratory pleasure. Christmas eve has received the name “Christmas
Eve”, and a word it occurs from the ritual food tasted this day –
сочива, porridges from red wheat or barley, a rye, гречихи, mixed with
honey and with almond and маковым juice.
The food in Christmas Eve could not be accepted to the first star, in
memory of the Bethlehem star, announced to magicians about Christmas of
the Savior. And with approach of twilight when the first star lighted
up, sat down a table and shared облатками, wishing each other all kind
Christmas – a holiday when all family together gathers behind the big
table. The table prepared the plentiful. Pancakes, fish dishes, aspic,
студень from pork and beef legs. A fragrant dairy pig with a stuffing
from porridge, a pork head with a horse-radish, pork sausage house,
roast, honey spice-cakes, сбитень and, of course, a fried goose.
Christmas-tide begins with Christmas – continuous holidays which last
before Kreshchensky Christmas Eve and are accompanied by walks, visiting
native and friends, masquerades. In olden time it was accepted
The sparrow flies, by a tail twirls. And you, people, know tables dim.
On the Christmas-tide in Russia it was from time immemorial accepted
рядиться, to arrange cheerful games, to go on houses, to awake sleeping,
to congratulate all passers on sun turn for the summer, and later, after
Christianity acceptance, with Christmas, to joke, sing songs. Came to an
end колядки with a general fun, driving from hills, the general feast.
Svjatochnye guessing is various and numerous. Girls, sometimes under the
direction of the senior women were engaged in them. Whether and
interested them they, first of all, will marry next year or remain in
girls will be rich or poor, in general, will be live or will die.
Therefore very many guessing связанны with searches of the promised.
After Celebrating of New year, the Christmas will come to Russia.
Remains to very few times to meet a holiday according to Russian
traditions, cheerfully and hospitably.
Christening of Gospodne (Sacred Epiphany)
On January, 19th Russians celebrate Kreshchenie Gospodne. In memory that
this day Jesus Christ has accepted a christening in the river Jordan, in
orthodox temples water which parishioners store then the whole year is
consecrated. From temples to cross-shaped ice-holes pass religious
processions. Believers plunge into ice-holes, symbolizing it a
christening ceremony. Besides, it is considered that bathing for the
Christening helps to recover from various illnesses. An Epiphany – one
of twelve basic (great) orthodox holidays.
Day of students (Tatjanin day)
On twenty fifth of January Russians celebrate Day of the student or
Tatiana day. The decree empress Elizabeth Petrovnoj January, twelfth,
1755 on Tatiana day has signed the decree «About establishment of the
Moscow university». Since then on twelfth of January students celebrate
the holiday – Day of students and sacred Tatyana became the patroness of
all students. In the nineteenth century since January, twelfth a
student’s vacation began. This day it was accepted to arrange
celebrations on which awards under solemn speeches were distributed.
Then it is day named not Tatiana day, and «Day of the basis of the
Moscow University». Celebrated Day of the student in the beginning only
in Moscow. passed very magnificently and consisted of two parts. At
first there was an official part, and then the holiday passed to streets
in which all inhabitants of capital took participation. Nicolay’s decree
of the first had been signed the certificate about university
establishment, instead of its opening. Thanks to its students had a
holiday – Day of the student. Day of the student – celebrate and now. It
put modern youth celebrates also it is noisy and it is cheerful, as
hundred years ago. The poor student never will miss the chance to shirk
study, but according to popular wisdom, from its infinite celebration
distracts only time.
Day sacred Valentine (Valentine day)
Love! When both sad and funny.
Love! When do not like, anyway.
Love! Although not the favorite name.
Love! Love thy will understand.
Love! His heart command.
Love! His love of expensive.
Love! When the terms of good and evil.
Love! And should not it be otherwise!
On fourteenth of February – an especial holiday. It is known as
Valentine’s Day – a holiday of all enamored. It is one of few foreign
holidays whom it is successful at us has got accustomed and every year
becomes more and more mass. It is possible to consider it joint – both
men, and female. It can celebrate at any age, after all the love does
not have borders. Loving couples mark this romantic holiday all over the
world. As it is known, the name to this holiday was given by simple
Christian priest Valentine who secretly crowned enamored legionaries,
for what has been executed.
As the Christian martyr priest Valentine for the belief has been
canonized by church. In 496 year on fourteenth of February by the Pope
has been declared in the Afternoon of sacred Valentine. In Russia and
the CIS countries Day of sacred Valentine is marked from the beginning
of the ninetieth years of the twentieth century.
On February, 23rd Day of the defender of fatherland
On twenty third of February in Russia it is accepted to congratulate men
on Day of the defender of Fatherland (the holiday was marked for the
first time at the time of Soviet Union and it is marked now in Russia,
in Ukraine, in Belarus and Dnestr region). This day we pay a tribute of
respect and thanks to those who courageously protected the native earth
from aggressors, and also that who in a peace time draws hard and
responsible duty. Informally the holiday is considered day of men which
accept congratulations since February, twenty third not only from an
opposite sex, but also from friends and colleagues. For the first time
the holiday was marked in 1922 and «Day of Red army» was called. With
1946 on 1993 it was called «Day of the Soviet Army and Navy fleet». For
today on twenty third of February according to the Federal law of the
Russian Federation «About days of military glory (victorious days)
Russia» (1995) is called as Day of the defender of Fatherland. In 2002
the State Duma of the Russian Federation has made decision to make on
twenty third of February the day off.
Pancake week – one of the most joyful and light holidays. The whole week
the people see off the bothered winter, bake pancakes and visit. A
pancake week for us, as a carnival for Italians. As in a translation
from Italian “carnival” is meant «by beef, farewell! ». And the pancake
week previous the Lent, long since was called as “Mjasopustom” as this
week it was forbidden to eat meat. Some historians consider that in the
ancient time the Pancake week was связанна with day of a spring
solstice, but with acceptance of Christianity it began to anticipate the
Lent and to depend on its terms. On every day buttered week there were
certain ceremonies. On Monday – the Pancake week meeting, on Tuesday –
folk tunes. On the gourmand that is on Wednesday of buttered week the
mother-in-law invited to pancakes of sons-in-law with wives. Especially
this custom was observed concerning young, recently got married. For
certain from here expression «to the mother-in-law on pancakes» also has
gone. On wide Thursday there were the most crowded санные driving. On
Friday – mother-in-law’s вечерки – sons-in-law called the mother-in-law
on an entertainment. Saturday was taken away золовкиным to a sit-round
gathering. Sunday was called «прощеным in the afternoon». This day all
visited relatives, friends and acquaintances, exchanged kisses, bows and
were sorry each other if have offended words or acts.
Women’s day 8 Marсh
On eighth of March – “the International women’s day”, a holiday of
spring and attention to the woman. This day we do not work, and ours
“fine halves” wait from us for signs on attention, colors and gifts. We
rejoice to a holiday. Passes time, the sense of a holiday varies, and we
sometimes wonder: what, actually, and what for we celebrate? The
beginning to the International women’s day which today mark donation of
gifts, colors and poetic to women, was put not less by the celebrated
personality – Clara Tsetkin. The beginning of celebrating of the
International women’s day in day on March, 8th has begun since 1911. For
the first time the holiday to women, has been celebrated in Germany,
Austria, Denmark, and Sweden. Russia has joined this list since 1913. As
a result of activity of the International female organisation for
protection of the rights of women, in 1985 in 88 countries of the world
recognised the right of women and have stopped fair sex discrimination
in the decision of political and other questions. The international
women’s day has been celebrated for the first time in Russia – in
Petersburg in 1913 In May, 1965 on March, 8th has been declared by a day
off. In the USSR and new Russia the holiday 8 Martha was and remains to
one of the most favourite.
Day of laughter
Custom to have fun and deceive each other on first of April exists in
many countries. “Day of laughter” – so call this holiday and mark it in
spite of the fact that it is not brought in one official calendar of
significant events. In Russia, according to historians and
ethnographers, celebrating on first of April – an echo of pagan rite in
honour of arrival of spring. Being afraid of “old woman-winter”, wishing
it to banish more likely, our ancestors changed clothes in skins of
animals, put on masks that she has not learnt offenders, with songs and
dancings burnt its stuffed animal and met the beauty-spring. Besides, in
Russia considered that the malicious demon on first of April wakes up,
and consequently it is necessary to deceive in every possible way each
other to confuse him.
Well and the first case of mass draw has taken place in Moscow at the
time of Peter I. In 1700 the holder of troupe of German comedians
declared that during representation will get into an ordinary bottle. To
the people at theatre has gathered much, and on a stage have taken out a
bottle with an inscription “on First of April”. Speak, for the most dull
people the German has some times put a finger in a bottle to show that
it has made a fool of them: see supposedly even my finger in a bottle
does not climb, and I and will not climb through for a long time. In
Russia the morning April Fools’ alarm sounding usually in case of a fire
became ridiculous draw and having roused all Petersburgers who have soon
understood that became victims of draw. Still couple of years back
Russians in large quantities took a great interest in jokes, like: “At
you a back white!” Or “at you laces were untied!” Some come across till
now on these old kind draws.
Light Christ’s Revival has come to Russia – the most important orthodox
holiday. This day special and familiar to us since the childhood. We
learn it on brightly painted chicken, on is tasty to the smelling Easter
cakes covered with a multi-colored crumb on white glaze and on special
joyful persons of people, coming back of a temple. Orthodox such holiday
consider as the most important thing and name a holiday of holidays —
Easter. Orthodox Easter in Russia is marked on the first Sunday after a
spring equinox and a March full moon. Easter still name a life holiday,
and even inveterate atheists are reserved by an onions peel for a paint
of eggs and with pleasure knead celebratory Easter cakes. Easter — a
holiday, drawing the beauty and improbable atmosphere of all: big and
small, believing and doubting. A church celebration of the most
important holiday of the orthodox people really grandiosely. And
preparation for celebrating begins beforehand. On Saturday believers
bear Easter cakes in church, eggs and Easter for consecration without
which the Easter cake remains simply rich bread, and egg — will lose the
symbolical value. By the way, many people on ignorance name the baked
Easter cakes which are on sale on the eve of a holiday in many shops —
Easter. Not to get to awkward position it is necessary to know that
Easter is a dish from cottage cheese with every possible additives. It
unlike Easter cakes is not baked.
Divine service in a temple begins with canon and religious procession
reading. In churches time has begun divine services can be various. In
the main temple of Volgograd the Kazan cathedral canon reading begins,
approximately at 23.15 — 23.30. The people coming in the night from
Saturday to Sunday in a temple on Easter divine service, become
witnesses of the sacred action not similar on any others. Before its
beginning in temples all fixtures are lighted, believing stand with
candles, and there is no more brightly and more joyfully a service, than
in night of Revival of Jesus Christ.
In days of old solemn Divine service was made in the presence of the
tsar who upon termination of a ceremony did not shun with boyars and
court. it is accepted not only in day of Easter, but also the next days.
Meeting people should kiss and exchange by all means red. Before it it
is necessary to say: «Christ Voskresi!». Or to answer: «Truly
Voskresi!». After all Easter is a holiday of Revival of the Christ. Such
greetings people announce a victory of a life eternal over death. Under
the legend Maria Magdalina has presented the first Easter egg to the
Roman emperor Tiberiju. It has come to Rome with a great joyful message
about Revival of the Christ. Maria was poor and, without having
anything, except the belief, joyfully having exclaimed: «Christ
Voskresi!», has presented to the emperor a usual egg. was sceptical
about words of the woman, having doubted that someone can revive from
the dead.« Also it is difficult to believe in it, as that this egg can
become red! »- the emperor has told and has not believed to the eyes:
egg in his hands wonderfully became scarlet. Since then traditional red
Easter eggs symbolise blood of the Christ and are the Revival symbol.
For children Easter eggs a wonderful entertainment and an occasion to
play pranks. Games on разбивание eggs and their driving carry away all
children, looking on which adults rejoice.
The pleasure distinguishes Easter from all other holidays. Not that
pleasure that that pleasure is received from fair quantity of strong
drinks in a New Year’s eve, not that comes with reception of expensively
gift at date of enamoured, and pleasure of that a life is fine that it
does not come to an end that it proceeds eternally. Easter — a life
holiday! A holiday when «the soul Russian as though is dissolved and
softened in warm beams of Christ’s love», reviving for good deeds and
Holiday of spring and work
On first of May it was celebrated in the Russian empire for the first
time in 1890 in Warsaw, and in 1891 already in capital – in
Its first name – Day of the international solidarity of workers. In
Soviet Union a holiday often named simply on number – on first of May.
In the Russian Federation it is marked, as a holiday of Spring and Work.
As though it named – Day of solidarity of workers or a holiday of spring
and work, for many on first of May traditionally symbolizes revival and
arrival of spring.
The big emotional charge which it bears in itself (himself) is connected
not only with sensation of spring awakening of the nature, but also with
perception on first of May as the general celebration rallying all
Russians. “A mass holiday” on first of May became in the USSR. And it
really was the holiday for the workers who have received in addition two
days off. May гуляния passed on all country. This day people amicably
went on demonstration with headers and colours. The celebratory table
was obligatory attribute of the 1st of May.
On May, 9th – a Victory Day!
On May, 9th, 1945 Russian people have gained a great victory over the
aggressor. The tests, fallen to a lot of our people were rather fiery.
Here half a century a Victory Day already there is more serves as a
strong, indissoluble thread between us, present generation, and
generation of front-line soldiers, military workers, winners. The
Victory Day is a proof of that Russians – special, surprisingly strong
nation. And however many has passed years and how many the words full
thanks and love, has not sounded, the young generation always will be in
eternal to a debt to veterans.
In 2005 60 years of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War were
executed. The basic celebratory actions devoted to this date, have taken
place 8 – on May, 10th in Moscow. The capital of Russia has accepted
tens foreign delegations from all continents led by heads of the states
and the governments. In the Russian regions 9-og May marked the Victory
60 anniversary in the Great Patriotic War. On celebrations on the
occasion of an anniversary informs ITAR-TASS.
Ten thousand inhabitants of Kursk have come today to a memorial fallen
in days of the Great Patriotic War to pay a tribute of memory to heroes
and to assign flowers to their tombs. So populous celebrations in a
Victory Day many years here were not observed. On Red Square of Kursk
military parade and solemn meeting has taken place.
On a main square of Samara – the areas of Kuibyshev – today for the
first time for last 4 years there has passed military parade. It was
opened by 120 veterans of the Great Patriotic War. Dressed in the field
form and groundsheets they have solemnly passed on the area on
реставрированных trucks of wartime ГАЗ-67. After them a smart march have
passed one and a half thousand military men of the Second Guards army
deployed in territory of the Samara region.
Aerobatic manoeuvres in the sky over a city were shown by pilots of
country council РОСТО. All interested persons by tradition treated with
Ten thousand калининградцев have come today to a sacred place for all –
to a memorial to 1200 heroes-guardsmen – to pay a memory tribute to the
Soviet soldiers who were lost in days of the Great Patriotic War.
It is the first memorial, erected in Soviet Union in honour of the
fallen heroes upon termination of war. It has immortalised a feat of the
Red Army men who were lost at storm of a fortified city of Kenigsberg is
equal a month before the Great Victory. On the eve of a holiday
reconstruction of a memorial to which in September 60 years will be
executed has been finished.
Veterans of war have headed a smart system of armies of the Kaliningrad
garrison. They bore banners of 1st Baltic, 2nd and 3rd Belarus fronts,
and also the Baltic fleet, Soviet armies participating in East Prussian
offensive operation and storm of Kenigsberga.
Celebratory celebrations have passed in Tver – the first regional
centre, released from fascist aggressors.
Thousand townspeople, despite a rain, have passed in colourful columns
the central city streets. When meeting has begun and greetings to
veterans have begun to sound, the rain has stopped, the sun has looked
“Words of a congratulation to front-line soldiers, workers of back in an
especial way sound on our Tver earth. In frosty December of 41st
Kalininsky offensive operation has begun. It was a component of the plan
of defeat of fascist armies near Moscow”, – the mayor of Tver Oleg
Lebedev has told on meeting. It has reminded that Kalinin (Tver) became
the first regional centre released from fascist aggressors.
The enemy has had here the big losses – more than 10 thousand killed and
With solemn поминальных ceremonies on military burial places celebrating
of the 60 anniversary of the Great Victory in Arkhangelsk has begun
today. Thousand people почтили memory fallen also have assigned flowers
to their tombs. In territory of the front Arkhangelsk region 31 military
hospitals on 16 thousand cots has been developed. Hundreds fighters have
died here of wounds and illnesses.
After all ceremonies and возложений colours, people disperse. In the
evening at ten o’clock start to give salute in honour of a Victory Day.
People leave on streets and admire on beautiful fireworks.
Day of mother (Mum’s day) in Russia
In Russia to mark «Day of mother» became rather recently. Though it is
impossible to argue that this holiday – an eternity holiday: from
generation to generation for each person mum – the most important person
in a life. Becoming mother, the woman opens in itself better qualities:
kindness, love and care. The new holiday – «Day of Mother» – gradually
gets accustomed in Russia. Based by the President of the Russian
Federation on January, 30th, 1998, it is celebrated last Sunday
November, doing justice to parent work and their disinterested victim
for the sake of the blessing of children. And it is correct: how many
good, kind words it has been told to mums, how many occasions for this
purpose have thought up, superfluous they will not be. Among the
numerous holidays marked in our country, «Day of Mother» takes a special
place. It is a holiday to which nobody can remain indifferent. This day
it would be desirable to tell gratitude words to all Mothers who give to
children love, good, tenderness and caress. Thanks you!. And let to each
of you tell warm words your favourite children more! Let on their
persons the smile and joyful sparkles is shone sparkle in eyes, when you
together! The Russian mothers were distinguished always by generosity of
soul, fidelity, self-sacrifice, love and great patience. And today they
carefully store the family centre, learn children to good, mutual
understanding, morals. Day of mother answers the best traditions of the
relation of Russians to motherhood, unites all layers of the Russian
society on ideas of good and honouring of the woman-mother.
Day of mother — a holiday youngish. It yet has no established
traditions, in the family circle very few people marks it. But, we hope
that in due course value of this day will increase, because on sense and
the maintenance it is the most sacred holiday.
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