Christmas Around the World
Reagan Library Christmas Tree Exhibit


Christmas Traditions


Christmas is most widely celebrated on Jan. 7 because the Russian Orthodox Church adheres to the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. Preceding the Russian Orthodox Christmas, New Year's Day is on Jan. 1 and is considered the more important holiday.

Posted Friday December 8th 2023


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Russian Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

In RussianS Rozhdestvom

Russian Christmas Tree Top

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Russian Christmas Ornaments

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Russian Shoes Christmas Ornament

Russian Christmas Ornament

Russian Christmas Ornaments

Christmas in Russia

WIKIPEDIAChristmas in Russia
In the Russian Orthodox Church, is a holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on 25 December in the Gregorian calendar and 7 January in the Julian calendar followed by the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is considered a high holiday by the church, one of the 12 Great Feasts, and one of only four of which are preceded by a period of fasting. Traditional Russian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on 6 January .

Christmas was largely erased from the Russian calendar for much of the 20th century due to the Soviet Union's anti-religious policies, but many of its traditions survived, having been transplanted to New Year's Day. Although Christmas was re-established as a holiday in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is still eclipsed by New Year's Day, which remains the most important Russian holiday.

On Christmas Eve (6 January), there are several long church services, including the Royal Hours and Vespers combined with the Divine Liturgy. The family will then return home for the traditional Christmas Eve (Holy Supper), which consists of 12 dishes, one to honour each of the Twelve Apostles. Devout families will then return to church for the All Night Vigil. Then again, on Christmas Morning, they return to attend the Morning Divine Liturgy of the Nativity. Since 1992, Christmas has become a national holiday in Russia as part of the ten-day holidays at the start of the new year.

Principal dishes on the Christmas table in old Russia included roasted pig, stuffed pig's head, roasted meat chunks, jelly (kholodets), and aspic. Christmas dinner also included many other meats: goose with apples, sour cream hare, venison, lamb, whole fish, etc. The abundance of fried and baked meats, whole baked chicken, and fish on the festive table was associated with features of the Russian oven, which allowed successful preparation of large portions.

Finely sliced meat and pork was cooked in pots with semi-traditional porridge. Pies were indispensable dishes for Christmas, as well as other holidays, and included both closed and open style pirogi (pirozhki, vatrushkas, coulibiacs, kurnik, saechki, shangi), kalachi, cooked casseroles, and blini. Fillings of every flavor were included (herbal, vegetable, fruit, mushrooms, meat, fish, cheese, mixed).

Sweet dishes served on the Russian Christmas table included berries, fruit, candy, cakes, angel wings, biscuits, honey. Beverages included drinking broths (kompot and sweet soups, sbiten), kissel, and, from the beginning of the 18th century, Chinese tea.

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Russian Santa Christmas Ornament

Ronald Reagan Russia
May 31, 1988
Reagan and Gorbachev stand and talk in Red Square; St. Basil's Cathedral is in the background; President Reagan attended Summit meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev and exchanged ratifications of INF Treaty.


WIKIPEDIAThe Russian Federation
A country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, extends across eleven time zones, and shares land boundaries with fourteen countries. It is the world's ninth-most populous country and Europe's most populous country. The country's capital and largest city is Moscow. Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city and "cultural capital". Other major urban areas in the country include Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Kazan.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognized group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century, and in 988, it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. Rus' ultimately disintegrated, with the Grand Duchy of Moscow growing to become the Tsardom of Russia. By the early 18th century, Russia had vastly expanded through conquest, annexation, and the efforts of Russian explorers, developing into the Russian Empire, which remains the third-largest empire in history. However, with the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia's monarchic rule was abolished and eventually replaced by the Russian SFSR-the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Following the Russian Civil War, the Russian SFSR established the Soviet Union with three other Soviet republics, within which it was the largest and principal constituent. At the expense of millions of lives, the Soviet Union underwent rapid industrialization in the 1930s and later played a decisive role for the Allies in World War II by leading large-scale efforts on the Eastern Front. With the onset of the Cold War, it competed with the United States for global ideological influence. The Soviet era of the 20th century saw some of the most significant Russian technological achievements, including the first human-made satellite and the first human expedition into outer space.

In 1991, the Russian SFSR emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as the independent Russian Federation. A new constitution was adopted, which established a federal semi-presidential system.

Business Center of Moscow

  • The Russian economy ranks 11th by nominal GDP, relying heavily on its abundant natural resources.
  • Its mineral and energy sources are the world's largest, and its figures for oil production and natural gas production rank highly globally.
  • The Russian GDP ranks 68th by per capita
  • Russia possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and has the third-highest military expenditure.
  • The country is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; a member state of the G20, SCO, BRICS, APEC, OSCE, and WTO; and the leading member state of post-Soviet organizations such as CIS, CSTO, and EAEU/EEU.
  • Russia is home to 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The first human settlement on Russia dates back to the Oldowan period in the early Lower Paleolithic. About 2 million years ago, representatives of Homo erectus migrated to the Taman Peninsula in southern Russia. Flint tools, some 1.5 million years old, have been discovered in the North Caucasus. Radiocarbon dated specimens from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains estimate the oldest Denisovan specimen lived 195–122,700 years ago. Fossils of Denny, an archaic human hybrid that was half Neanderthal and half Denisovan, and lived some 90,000 years ago, was also found within the latter cave. Russia was home to some of the last surviving Neanderthals, from about 45,000 years ago, found in Mezmaiskaya cave. The first trace of an early modern human in Russia dates back to 45,000 years, in Western Siberia.
  • Russia's vast landmass stretches over the easternmost part of Europe and the northernmost part of Asia. Russia, as one of the world's only three countries bordering three oceans, has links with a great number of seas. Russia, home of over 100,000 rivers, has one of the world's largest surface water resources, with its lakes containing approximately one-quarter of the world's liquid fresh water. Lake Baikal, the largest and most prominent among Russia's fresh water bodies, is the world's deepest, purest, oldest and most capacious fresh water lake, containing over one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water.
  • The size of Russia and the remoteness of many of its areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate throughout most of the country, except for the tundra and the extreme southwest.
  • Russian biodiversity includes 12,500 species of vascular plants, 2,200 species of bryophytes, about 3,000 species of lichens, 7,000–9,000 species of algae, and 20,000–25,000 species of fungi. Russian fauna is composed of 320 species of mammals, over 732 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles, about 30 species of amphibians, 343 species of freshwater fish (high endemism), approximately 1,500 species of saltwater fishes, 9 species of cyclostomata, and approximately 100–150,000 invertebrates (high endemism). Approximately 1,100 rare and endangered plant and animal species are included in the Russian Red Data Book.
  • Russia, by 1993 constitution, is a symmetric federal republic with a semi-presidential system, wherein the president is the head of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. It is structured as a multi-party representative democracy, with the federal government composed of three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.
  • Russia has a market economy, with enormous natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. It has the world's ninth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth-largest by PPP. The large service sector accounts for 62% of total GDP, followed by the industrial sector (32%), while the agricultural sector is the smallest, making up only 5% of total GDP.
  • Russia is the world's thirteenth-largest exporter and the 21st-largest importer. It relies heavily on revenues from oil and gas-related taxes and export tariffs, which accounted for 45% of Russia's federal budget revenues in January 2022, and up to 60% of its exports in 2019.
  • Roscosmos is Russia's national space agency. In 1957, the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched. In 1961, the first human trip into space was successfully made by Yuri Gagarin. Many other Soviet and Russian space exploration records ensued. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first and youngest woman in space, having flown a solo mission on Vostok 6. In 1965, Alexei Leonov became the first human to conduct a spacewalk, exiting the space capsule during Voskhod 2. Russia had 172 active satellites in space in April 2022, the world's third-highest.
  • According to the World Tourism Organization, Russia was the sixteenth-most visited country in the world, and the tenth-most visited country in Europe, in 2018, with over 24.6 million visits.
  • Russia is one of the world's most sparsely populated and urbanised countries, with the vast majority of its population concentrated within its western part. It had a population of 144.7 million as of the 2021 census (excluding Crimea and Sevastopol). Russia is the most populous country in Europe, and the world's ninth most populous country.
  • Russian is the official and the predominantly spoken language in Russia. It is the most spoken native language in Europe, the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, as well as the world's most widely spoken Slavic language. Russian is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station, as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  • Russia largest religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
  • Russia has an adult literacy rate of 100%.
  • Russian cuisine has been formed by climate, cultural and religious traditions, and the vast geography of the nation; and it shares similarities with the cuisines of its neighbouring countries. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for various breads, pancakes and cereals, as well as for many drinks. Bread, of many varieties, is very popular across Russia. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka, and okroshka. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) and mayonnaise are often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini, and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Beef Stroganoff,: 266  Chicken Kiev,: 320  pelmeni, and shashlyk are popular meat dishes. Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls (golubtsy) usually filled with meat. Salads include Olivier salad, vinegret, and dressed herring.
  • Russia's national non-alcoholic drink is kvass, and the national alcoholic drink is vodka; its production in Russia (and elsewhere) dates back to the 14th century. The country has the world's highest vodka consumption, while beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage. Wine has become increasingly popular in Russia in the 21st century. Tea has been popular in Russia for centuries.
  • Football is the most popular sport in Russia. Ice hockey is very popular in Russia, and the Soviet national ice hockey team dominated the sport internationally throughout its existence. Bandy is Russia's national sport, and it has historically been the highest-achieving country in the sport. The Russian national basketball team won the EuroBasket 2007, and the Russian basketball club PBC CSKA Moscow is among the most successful European basketball teams. The annual Formula One Russian Grand Prix was held at the Sochi Autodrom in the Sochi Olympic Park, until its termination following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Historically, Russian athletes have been one of the most successful contenders in the Olympic Games.

EtymologyThe word Rus' is derived from the Rus' people, who were a Swedish tribe, and where the three original members of the Rurikid dynastry came from. The Finnish word for Swedes, ruotsi, has the same origin. The word Russia is a Medieval Latin name for Rus', a medieval state populated primarily by the East Slavs. In modern historiography, this state is usually denoted as Kievan Rus' after its capital city.

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