Russia is a country, which is most often than not referred as the largest nation of the planet. It celebrates equally large scale celebrations on New Years Eve. However, it is not only the day of New Years Eve which holds the core of celebrations of New Year, but an extended celebrations go on till January 10.
Divided in eleven time zones, Russia can be said to get struck eleven times by the moment of the arrival of New Year. Usually, the eleven time zones thus have varied moments of midnight and midnight celebrations, as well as have slight differences in the nature of celebrations.
During the time of New Years Eve, people from all over Russia come together to celebrate New Year with lot of fervor and joy. It is a time of the year, when they forget the differences of religion, geography, and ideologies, and instead believe in enthusiastic celebrations of New Year, a festival which belongs to everyone.
Celebrations on New Years Eve in Russia are much family oriented. People love to spend the special time of the year with the members of their family and close friends. However, it is not necessarily be at home only. If at home, people usually serve them with the ‘special’ delicacies and salads. Other than this, the menu for the day is ensured to make special by including abundance of food and food dishes.
Those with a plan to have celebrations with their close friends or partner usually move out to spend early evening of New Years Eve in partying at discotheques and clubs. Many traditional and cultural programs are also organized for the evening, which boasts off long evening celebrations in the presence of traditional music, dance, and lots of traditional delicacies such as meat, carrots, preserves, pickles, mayonnaise, salads, potatoes, green peas, onion, and sometimes, caviar.
Irrespective of the fact that if one is partying at home or is in a social party place, the midnight time draws everyone out to gather at the famous squares in the city. Anadyr is the first place in Russia to witness the arrival of New Year.
The event organized at Kremlin is one of the highlights of the evening, in which people from all over Russia as well as other countries come all the way to be a part of. Also, the opulent celebration is too worthy to be missed by anyone. Red Square is another popular spot to witness some spectacular midnight firework shows, and other cultural programs.
At the stroke of midnight, most of the Russians break open the champagne bottle, and raise a toast on the name of the New Year. In Kremlin, the midnight bell rings twelve, thus announcing an official arrival of the New Year. As soon as that occurs, people cheer out loud, and wish everyone around with ‘Happy New Year!’ or ‘Snovum Godom’.
There are certain traditions, which are religiously followed by most of the people on New Years Eve in Russia. Future telling is one ancient tradition, which is observed more on the side of humor and fun. As a part of it, young unmarried women gather at one place, where they remain eager to know a prediction for their love life and married of the coming year.
There is another tradition of decorating house and streets with colorful balls, illuminating fancy lights, tinsels, Siberian firs, and artificial trees. It is a centuries old tradition of decorating places, streets, and buildings with firs and trees, which in the local language is referred as ‘Novogodnaya Yolka’.
Also, gifts are placed beneath the trees to be later picked and unpacked by small children on the morning of New Year’s Day. Traditionally, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka are credited as those leaving gifts behind on New Years Eve. According to legends, Peter the Great commenced this tradition.
He is also associated with the tradition of bursting of firecrackers. In his declaration, he told everyone to either burst three rockets in the midnight, or put fire to a musket (if one has) three times on the midnight of the New Years Eve.