Russian Traditional Holidays

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Russian culture has a long and rich cultural history. Russian traditional holidays are one of the components of Russian culture that make it unique and attract visitors to Europe's largest country. Most foreigners may be familiar with common Christmas, New Year or Easter holidays and its traditions. However, there are so many more other ones that are not well known all over the world, but have a great meaning to a Russian person. The Russian annual traditions calendar is full of exciting national holidays that reflect its multicolored history. A few examples of the very important Russian traditional holidays, without which it is impossible to imagine Russian culture are Maslenitsa, the Old New Year’s Day, and Victory Day. Maslenitsa is considered…show more content…
It sounds strange and confusing to many foreigners, but for Russians it is one of the traditional holidays, which is celebrated at midnight from January 13th to 14th according to the Julian, or Orthodox, calendar. Russia was one of the countries that refused to change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 and continued to celebrate all its holidays as before. Basically, the Old New Year is the actual New Year, just old style. Since all religious holidays were banned in the Soviet Union, the only winter holiday that people had left was the New Year’s. However, Russians love holidays too much to give up a day of celebration, thus, until this very day Russians still meet the New Year twice according to both old and new calendars. For most Russians the Old New Year is just a great a way to prolong the New Year’s celebrations and wish all the wishes they didn’t have time for on December 31. Following the circular traditions, “on the Old New Year’s Eve TV broadcasts once again all the New Year’s programs, concerts and films, and one does not need to buy another fir-tree – the old one will do fine” (IC Russia). Russians dress up, cook a lot of food, invite guests and give each other gifts, the same way as they do on the actual New Year’s…show more content…
May 9th is a very significant nationwide holiday of the victory of the Soviet people over fascist Germany in the World War II, which is also known as the Great Patriotic War. Honoring the memory of soldiers who rescued the world from fascism, the Russians solemnly celebrate this holiday starting from 1945. Victory Day commemorates millions of people who lost their lives in one of the bloodiest wars in Russia’s history and honors the bravery of Russian soldiers, whose heroism saved the country from Nazi invaders. It is a sacred holiday for Russians who often say that there is not a single family in the country who did not lose someone in that war. There are both joyful and mournful moments in this holiday. For many people the day starts off by attending a local military parade or watching the biggest parade at Moscow’s Red Square, showcasing Russia’s military forces on the television. People on the streets give flowers, usually red carnations, to the veterans whose chests are covered in the medals as they head to the parade. Other traditions of this holiday include laying wreaths to the monuments of Glory and beds of honor, the minute of silence, carrying portraits of World War II soldiers during the Immortal Regiment march in central Moscow, and the night salute in celebration of the victory over fascism. “Even in modern Russia the anniversary remains not only a massive public celebration, but an intensely
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