Soviet Union is not untouched by the customs of any festivals. Explore the Russian New Year traditions and know about the beautiful rituals and customs practiced by their families.
From decorations, cuisines, entertainment and celebration methods – there is lot more to discover about Russian culture and traditions.
Unlike, any other countries Russia celebrates New Year on January 1. The Russian New Year is calculated based on the Gregorian calendar. But, earlier the New Year was observed in the month of September. Later, this practice was changed in the year 1699, after the Czar Peter read about the counting of years from Birth of Christ. Since then, New Year is declared public holiday and is celebrated with great joy.
The most traditional New Year celebration is held in Kremlin. More than, 50,000 people gather for the festivities and the tickets are sold weeks before the annual event. Russian meal comprises of meat and potatoes. People arrange feasts and visit people to enjoy New Year with all their loved ones.
There are many popular Russian New Year traditions and among them the most famous custom is associated with the New Year tree. This tree is called ‘Novogodnaya Yolka’ which is decorated like Christmas tree. The tree is adorned with different sweets and is topped with bright star. From December onwards the homes are decorated with fir trees. These are kept till January 14th.
The festival preparations start from mid December and the streets are decorated with toys, posters, flags, garlands and lights. The electric garlands are the latest decorative articles you can find during Russian New Year celebrations. With the change in the style of decor people have started decorating the stores with ice sculptures, snowmen and Father Frost figures.
In Soviet Union, Grandfather Frost replaces Santa. Grand Frost is also known as Ded Moroz and he is accompanied by a fairy who is his granddaughter, Snegurochka (Snow Maiden). She helps Frost in distributing the sweets and toys to the kids.
Grand father frost resembles the Santa Claus with big tummy and white beard. This character carries bag of toys and distributes it to all the children on the New Year eve. This is one of the beliefs in Russia. The only difference is that Santa wear red and Frost wears blue.
Among all the other customs one of the very famous beliefs is Russian make wish on the New Year Eve. The Russians feel if, any wish is made on this eve it would be surely fulfilled. For this people wait for the clock to struck 12. They write their desires on paper and burn it on candle. Then this ash is mixed in glass of champagne and consumed by them. This is associated with famous wish making Russian New Year traditions.
With the change in time and way of celebrations, people have altered everything. But there are many families who have retained their customs and stick to their roots of tradition and culture. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! Hope you enjoyed getting information on the Russian tradition during New Year.