The New Year is the most beloved holiday among Russians. Initially, Russians celebrated New Years Day on 1 March, but in 1700, Tsar Peter the Great issued a Decree, which moved the New Year to 1 January in tune with the rest of Europe.
The "Children's Christmas Tree" shows and Parties are an essential element of New Year celebrations in Russia. The largest of these shows take place at the Moscow Kremlin and the charity performance for disadvantaged children is held under the patronage of the Russian President.
This is a how to guide for New Years in Russia, including seven tips on what to do and see.
See the decorations.
- A typical Russian family will decorate their house in a beautiful and extravagant way including add a glittering Christmas tree. If you are just visiting Russia for New Years, you should go see some of the amazing decorations. However you live in Russia, why not decorate you own place to feel more at home?
- In particular see the large Christmas tree in Red Square as part of your travels.
Eat a traditional meal.
- During the New Year celebrations, a traditional Russian family will make a sophisticated dinner, with many elaborate dishes, and delicacies. This is a symbol of happiness and abundance for the upcoming year. If you get invited into a Russian home, you're in for an amazing night, however if you're not lucky to get a home stay, visit a traditional Russian restaurant and eat nothing but the most traditional Russian dishes. This will give you, the traveler, to greatest emergence in every facet of Russian culture.
- Some dishes to try include Borsch, shchi, Pirozhki, Blini, and lots and lots of Vodka.
Listen to the President's address.
- Just before midnight, the Russian President addresses the nation with a short speech in which he reflects on the past year and thanks the people for their support. Right after the speech, the chiming clock on the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower is shown counting down the last few seconds of the year.
Bid farewell to the old year.
- Local Russians bid farewell to the old year by counting the chimes of the Kremlin Spasskaya Clock Tower. This is broadcast in the moments before the commencement of the New Year. If you are not in Moscow for New Years, get to a public place to watch this broadcast.
5 Watch the fireworks.
- In Russia, no one goes to bed on New Years Eve, even the children stay up until the early hours of the morning. It is essential to watch the fireworks on New Years, which accompanies with lots of celebrations, vodka and dancing.
Welcome in the New Year.
- Russians welcome the New Year by saying “S Novim Godom!” (С Новым годом!). Alcohol flows freely for the first toast to the New Year. The first toast is simple - "To the New Year, to the new happiness!" (С Новым Годом, с новым счастьем!).
7Visit Grandfather Frost.
- Grandfather Frost – instead of Santa, Russian children believe in the no less mythical Grandfather Frost who wears a long blue or red fur coat, a matching hat and felt boots and carries gifts in a large sack on his back. In addition to the sack with gifts, Grandfather Frost carries a magical staff that has the power to freeze everything around him. Unlike Santa, Grandfather Frost doesn’t rely on reindeer to fly him around, but instead walks and skies a lot (no potbelly!) or drives his magical team of three horses.
- It is traditional to place two figurines of Grandfather Frost's and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden, under all Christmas trees. The Snow Maiden wears a blue or white fur coat and has a long blond braid that would make Goldilocks jealous. Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden appeared at the children’s party.
8Give and receive presents.
- It is traditional for gifts to be given after midnight on New Years. Unlike gifts being given on Christmas, they are given and received on New Years.
- If you're invited to a party, you should bring a gift in the possible chance that you may receive one.
Skate in the Red Square.
- In the Red Square in Moscow is an enormous ice rink. This is the best way to experience all of Russian culture in one experience. Ice skating in the red square is done by all Russians as a tradition and a celebration of the new year. P.S bring a coat because it's going to be cold, but that what's magical about it.
- Pilmeni are small meat dumplings that are made in traditional Russian homes the day after New Years. The family and friends will all come together to share in pilmeni and vodka, celebrating the night before and the sharing of love and friendship. If you lucky to be invited into a Russian home the day after New Years, get excited for this delicious Russian "hair of the dog".