Almost half of the winter has already passed, marked by the Christmas and New Year celebrations. This year, like the last 3 ones, I spent holidays far away from home though this time I also changed location from usual Czech Republic to France, which has been my second home for 4 month already.

With universal globalization one might think it is hard to find some unique features in these two holidays’ preparation and celebration. And one will be wrong J

Even in France you see differences between different regions: the beauty of Christmas markets in Alsace are hardly comparable to ones in the South-West (sorry, but that’s true); 13 desserts tradition in Provence; foie-gras with sweet wine in the south… However, one thing is certain – Christmas Eve is 24th, and this is the time when all the family gathers together (no matter how big it may be!). Personally, I think it’s wonderful and this is definitely what we are in lack of in Russia because…

There is no Christmas on 24th! Well, you might argue that in some countries it is on 25th but… No Christmas on 25th December either!

First of all, there was a change of calendar in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century, but the Orthodox Church made a decision to stick to the old one so we have Christmas on the 7th January.

Secondly, during the Soviet years the Church was forbidden, which means that all the religious holidays were neglected. That is why in Russia we have a far more vivid celebration of New Year.

During the Soviet time, New Year was the time when one gathered with his friends and/or relatives, cooked different salads (traditional ones would be Olivier which slightly reminds of Macedonien salad, salad with surimi, cucumber, corn and rice, “Herring under a fur coat” which is herring under layers of potatoes, carrots, mayonnaise and beetroot), duck with apples, some cake; at midnight everyone would listen to the president’s speech on TV, open Soviet champagne (which is a trademark) and make a wish while the Kuranty (big tower clock on the Red Square) would mark the New Year with 12 ringbells.

Some people claim that NY is like Christmas in Europe a family holiday, but I can’t fully agree with it. Both young people and adults tend to go out more now, some prefer to celebrate it with family, others – with friends or even alone.

So, here you are! I hope it was interesting to someone to learn about Russian NY.

I hope to enjoy mardi gras in France and then I’ll let you know as there a difference between it and Russian Maslenitsa J

P.S.: some photos are from these holidays’ trips

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Commentaire de Anna Ivanova vendredi

Oui, mais en Russie il n'y a pas des carnavals! Par contre, il y a une semaine de la célebration de Maslenitsa en février. J'espère que je participerai cette année le dernier jour et donc je portagerai les photos après :)

Commentaire de ADMINISTRATEUR MOVEAGRI vendredi

Merci beaucoup Anna. C'est très intéressant de profiter de ton regard sur ces traditions qui diffèrent d'un pays et d'une région à l'autre. Et maintenant le temps des carnavals alors ?

Vincent

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