Christmas in Russia, which is celebrated in the Russian Orthodox church, is observed on the 7th of January every year. An important aspect of Christmas is the blessing of individual homes. During the feast of Christmas Eve, families and friends come together to create a joyous atmosphere. One of the customs of celebrating Christmas is the exchange of gifts.
Christmas is a significant festival celebrated worldwide, annually on the 25th of December. It commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration of Christmas Eve involves decorating Christmas trees throughout the town, greeting people, cutting cakes, attending church services, and more. What sets Christmas in Russia apart are its distinctive customs and traditions. Join in the Christmas celebrations in Russia during your winter holidays and have an enjoyable vacation experience.
About Christmas In Russia
In the early days of Soviet rule, Christmas was not celebrated in Russia, and even other religious festivities were discouraged. Despite these discouragements, the Soviet regime reinstated Christmas celebrations on the 25th of December. All the traditional customs of Christmas Eve were readopted in Russia after the October Revolution. Nowadays, people traditionally return to their homes to celebrate with loved ones and have a festive Holy supper. Russia is currently the largest country in terms of land area, with its capital, Moscow, being the largest city.
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Facts About Russian Christmas
Christmas in Russia is celebrated in a grand and festive manner. The main religion followed in Russia is Russian Orthodox, and the country has a significant Christian population. Therefore, Christmas has become a major festival in Russia. Many people observe fasting traditions during Russian Christmas and abstain from consuming meat and eggs based on their customs and beliefs. The Christmas celebration includes tree decorations, carol singing, greetings, and enjoyment of the evening to the fullest. Russia celebrates Christmas Eve amidst the snowy winter, with temperatures consistently falling below zero degrees Celsius.
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8 Places To Visit During Christmas In Russia
Christmas, being a festival of presents, brings a lot of festive atmosphere. Going on vacation during this time becomes an even more delightful experience as you get to witness celebrations all around. So, here are a few destinations you should definitely explore if you decide to visit Russia during Christmas:
- Saint Petersburg
- Lake Baikal
Moscow is considered one of the most popular cities in Russia. During Christmas in Russia, the entire city is adorned and illuminated with vibrant colors and a traditional Christmas tree. Moscow offers numerous tourist attractions such as Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Bolshoi Theatre, Gorky Park, Kremlin Armory, Tretyakov gallery, Novodevichy Convent, State Historical Museum, Kolomenskoye, VDNKh, Dormition Cathedral, Grand Kremlin Palace, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Sparrow Hills, Pushkin Museum, Tverskaya Street, Alexander Garden, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow Zoo, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Troiskaya Tower, and many more. Celebrating Christmas in Russia is a spectacular experience, especially in Moscow.
Accommodation: Hilton Moscow, Holiday Inn Moscow
Unique Attractions: The ancient Christmas customs
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Suzdal is regarded as an ancient location in Russia. This place occupies a unique position in preserving the historic monuments. Some of the destinations that should be explored during the festive season in Russia are Suzdal Kremlin, Monastery of Saint Euthymius, Museum of wooden architecture and peasant life, Torgovyye Ryady, Uspenskaya Tsekov, Transfiguration Cathedral, Wax museum, Venerable bell tower, Friday church, and many others.
Accommodations: Pushkarskaya Sloboda, Suzdal Spasskaya GorkaDistinctive features: The attractions of the city
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Yaroslavl is even one of the ancient locations in Russia. It is also considered a place where ancient monuments and churches are situated. Some of the places that should be explored during Christmas in Yaroslavl are Khram ll’i Proroka, Museum “Music and Time,” Yaroslavl Zoo, Baptist church, Strelka, and much more.
Accommodations: Dostoevsky Hotel, Kuptsov DomDistinctive features: The ancient vibes of the city
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4. Saint Petersburg
It is acknowledged as the second-largest city globally. It is also renowned for commemorating widespread events famous throughout the entire nation and the world. This city is considered one of the most contemporary cities in Russia. The destinations that should be explored during the Christmas holidays are Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, Moika Palace, Summer Palace, Bronze Horseman, Field of Mars, Marble Palace, and many others.
Accommodations: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, Bristol HotelDistinctive features: The grand palace celebrations
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Kazan is also renowned as the sports city of Russia. The city also served as the venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Some significant attractions during the visit to Kazan, Russia are the Kazan Kremlin, Tatarstan, Suyumbike Tower, Epiphany Orthodox Cathedral, Pedestrian Baumana Street, The Farmers’ Palace, and more.
Accommodation options: ibis Kazan, Osobnyak na TeatralnoyWhat’s unique: The outstanding cathedrals
Novgorod is one of the most ancient cities of Russia with manuscripts dating back to 859 AD. The stunning silver and golden domes of St. Sophia’s Cathedral illuminate during December and visiting this cathedral from the 11th century during Christmas is the finest option. The city does showcase the distinctive facets of its celebrations with incredible markets and cathedrals that enhance the festive atmosphere.
Accommodation options: Rachmaninoff Hotel, TruvorWhat’s unique: The traditional Christmas celebrations
7. Lake Baikal
An amazing fact about celebrating Christmas at Lake Baikal is that the winters here are less severe than the summers. Lake Baikal is a tranquil paradise that entices with its exotic beauty! It’s the largest freshwater body in the world and surrounded by magnificent vegetation that guarantees a pristine experience for your Christmas vacation!
Accommodation options: Mini-hotel Baikal, Legend of BaikalWhat’s unique: The mild winters
Celebrating Christmas in Russia and excluding Vladivostok is a criminal offense. It is one of the finest destinations in the country to commemorate Christmas. The most remarkable feature of the city are the markets and events that occur throughout the city. The lights, fortresses, cathedrals, and squares are brimming with festive cheer that permeates the atmosphere.
Accommodation Options: Lighthouse – Маяк, Dream Catcher HotelUnique Features: The squares brimming with Christmas trees
Climate In Russia During Christmas
The weather during Christmas in Russia is extremely cold. The temperature hovers around a high of approximately -3°C to a low of -7.6°C. It is crucial to ensure that you have an ample supply of warm clothing as it will be extremely necessary. However, the average daylight hours are limited to approximately 7 hours, which means that the evenings are the optimal time of the day to partake in the festivities and uphold the Christmas traditions in Russia.
Variety of Activities During The Christmas Eve In Russia
The Christmas festivities take place during the chilly winter days, therefore, the activities for Christmas in Russia include the ceremonial lighting of a Bonfire. They ignite a fire to honor the Sviatki tradition. The Russian people also engage in the practice of divination, which is primarily done for amusement, but some households consider it an ancient tradition to be observed on Christmas Eve. They also join together with friends and family to sing Christmas carols. A lavish Christmas feast is prepared and enjoyed with loved ones. Similar to the belief of Santa Claus visiting homes on Christmas Eve, Russian people have a belief in the visitation of Ded Moroz and Snegurochka. Furthermore, the decoration of the Christmas tree is an important ritual and tradition in Russian culture. The Christmas tree in Russia is adorned with enchanting fairy decorations, adding to its elegance.
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Traditional Gastronomy During Christmas In Russia
The Christmas evening customs in Russia follows a grand feast. Typically, in Russia, some individuals do observe the herbivorous regimen throughout Christmas Eve and some individuals even abstain. However, Russian Christmas victuals commencing with swine, gander, and other specialty meats are accompanied by delectable cakes and pastries and other magnificent desserts. Even, Christmas in Russia customs proffers veggie delicacies like filled legumes, stuffed tubers, an alternative configuration of desserts, and much more. Offering these grand feasts is a means of venerating the colossal celebration of Christmas in Russia.
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The Christmas in Russia is one the most immense and picturesque occasion. From embellishing the Christmas tree to greeting the Russian Santa, each and every conventional ceremony in Russia is accomplished with a tremendous joyfulness. Extending salutations to one another to present a magnificent sacred feast, everything is a fragment of Christmas in Russia activities. The Christmas evening customs in Russia welcome people from diverse regions of the globe and proffer the opportunity to commemorate Christmas and New Year with them. Russia is regarded as one of the splendid locales in the world that is worth witnessing. Devise a jaunt to Russia to celebrate Christmas this wintertime.
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Commonly Asked Inquiries About Christmas In Russia
How do they observe Christmas in Russia?
The Russian Orthodox Church prevails in Russia, and they follow the ancient ‘Julian’ calendar for observing a pious day. Consequently, Christmas in Russia is celebrated on the 7th of January and not on 25th December.
What is a characteristic Russian repast?
A characteristic Russian repast generally comprises of appetizers and a main course dish which is warm and encompasses either potato, fish, or meat. They also relish tea post-dinner. Borscht, Solyanka Soup, Olivier Salad, Blini, Kotleti, and Pelmeni are a few of the conventional Russian repasts.
What is Russia’s national cuisine?
Pelmeni is the national dish of Russia. There are numerous eateries in Russia where you can savor Pelmeni and other dishes from the traditional Russian cuisine.
What do Russians consume during Christmas?
A Christmas feast in Russia typically incorporates a plethora of non-vegetarian dishes: 1. Roasted Pork 2. Stuffed Pig’s Head 3. Whole Fish 4. Kholodets (Jelly) 5. Goose with Apples 6. Sour Cream Hare 7. Lamb
Is Christmas prohibited in Russia?
During the early-mid Soviet period, the government discouraged religious celebrations through the policy of atheism until 1936. Despite this, Christmas was commemorated by the Soviet regime on December 25.
What is Santa known as in Russia?
Russian Santa Claus is also referred to as “Ded Moroz,” which translates to “Grandfather Frost” in English.
Is Christmas a public holiday in Russia?
Since 1992, Christmas has been marked as a national holiday in Russia, as part of the ten-day holiday at the commencement of the new year.
What is the final day of Christmas called?
The final day of Christmas is January 5th, also known as “the Twelfth Night.”
What holiday does Russia celebrate in December?
In December, Russia celebrates 3 public holidays and 1 non-public festival. Public holidays: Christmas, Fatherland’s Heroes Day, and Strategic Missile Troops Day. Non-public holiday: Emergency Workers Day.