Russian Holidays II
There're lots of Russian holidays - nearly for every occasion! I guess you can say that Russians just love to celebrate!
We have religious, political, military and historical holidays that'll surely make you wonder when we have time to work. Well, somewhen we do!
Intrigued? Let's continue our little tour, then! Oh, and if you want to start over - follow this link straight to the first page!
We celebrate it on January 7th. Why? Well, that's a long story, but in short - Russian Orthodox Church uses different Julian calendar, which is "delayed" by 13 days compared to Gregorian. Our January 7th corresponds to its December 25th - a perfect time for Christmas!
Little complicated, huh? Well, as I've mentioned somewhere - we Russians don't like to be as everyone else. For better or worse - we need our own special way - and it surely applies to Russian holidays!
You might just meet with real Father Frost!
Russian Orthodox Christmas consists of two parts - the lent and the meal. The Lent lasts for 40 days, from November 28 to January 6th. It's pretty strict, but not many people take it seriously. And then, on the Christmas Eve that we call "Sochelnik", there's a little feast!
...it's also supposed to be Lenten, but who cares? A meal is a meal - especially when it's Christmas!
For orthodox Christians, Maslenitsa is the last chance to party before the Great Lent. Traditionally, meat is not allowed, but again - nothing can stop ups from having a good meal!
During Maslenitsa, we bake a lot of pancakes (bliny), filled with butter, caviar, meat, jam - and they are tasty enough even without any stuffing!
This event puts a heavy load on your belly! You'll eat kilos of pancakes, drink liters of tea - and put some roses on your diet's grave. Seriously, there was a tradition in Russia to put a thread around your stomach and eat until it bursts!
I'm not *that* bad, of course, but it's very hard to refuse when you see a platter of delicious bliny, fresh from the oven!
...I'd say Maslenitsa is the tastiest of all Russian holidays!
Every city celebrates Maslenitsa. There are many fairs around, where you can buy traditional things, like wooden toys and clothes. No better place to look for Russian souvenirs! Plus, there're lots of national festivals - so do look around!
The last Sunday is called "The Forgiven Sunday" - that's when we ask each other for forgiveness. After all, the Great Lent is coming!
...if someone asks you to forgive him - answer "Bog prostit", meaning "God will forgive". Ask for forgiveness as well - come on, nobody's perfect!
This is a very light, joyous feast dedicated to resurrection of Jesus Christ. Tradition holds it that during Easter the gates of all churches must be open to remind us how the savior opened heavens for everyone.
You'll hear lots of bells ringing - that's how churches tell the world the wonderful news. On the streets, people greet everyone with the words "Christ arise" or "Christ has arisen". Sounds a little strange when you're not into it - but that's how the tradition goes.
We also bake delicious Easter cakes called "Kulichi". Made out of rich dough, covered with delicious frosting, they are every sweet-tooth's dream. My mother-in-law cakes are a work of art - too bad I can't have them anytime I wish!
The delicious Easter cakes!
During Easter, we also paint and exchange boiled eggs. The painting can be simple, made with a stencil - and they can go beyond your wildest dreams!
The eggs symbolize resurrection and stand for the new beginning, they are a must have! If you really wish to get into things - I suggest you start painting!
- Victory Day in Russia
- Victory Day in Russia 2009. City of Chekhov, Moscow region.
- Russian Orthodox Easter
- Celebrating Russian Orthodox Christmas
- Russian New Year - a complete guide!
- Russian holidays page III
- Russian Holidays part I
- Russian Maslenitsa
- International Women's Day in Moscow, Russia