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Russian Festivals
New Years Day

    As for the New Year holiday in Russia there is no special traditions.

    Usually people meet the New Year eve in the close family circle.

    People wait till midnight, eat delicious things, watch TV, try to be happy, merry, hear music etc.

    They launch fireworks more and more. They like to decorate the fir or a pine in their houses.

    They like to visit masquerade meetings especially children, to find presents under the decorated tree and elsewhere.

    They like to meet Father Frost and Snowmaid as fairy tales' characters and most lovely present givers. People dance around the fir, sing New Year songs.

    They re-invented the New Year's holiday tradition to include a decorated tree, and introduced a character called "Grandfather Frost." Known as "Ded Moroz," Grandfather Frost looked very much like the western "Santa Claus" or "Pere Noel" -- except he wore a blue suit.

    Actually, Ded Moroz was a character that existed in the pagan culture, centuries earlier. For a time, Christmas was all but forgotten. In fact, it was generally celebrated only in small villages, where the citizenry was far from the prying eyes of the Party.

    Today, Christmas is celebrated again, on January 7. But, to date, New Year's remains the bigger event.

    The New Year is first on the calendar and in popularity. Many celebrate it twice, on January 1 and 14, which corresponds to January 1 in the Julian calendar, used in Russia before 1918.

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