RussianPod101.com Blog
Learn Russian with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Russian Holidays' Category

How to Say Happy New Year in Russian & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Russian New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join RussianPod101 for a special Russian New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Russian

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Russian? Let a native teach you! At RussianPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Russian New Year wishes!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Russia
  2. Must-Know Russian Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Russian
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn Russian

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Russian New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Russia

Do you know what holiday the Russian people like the most? It’s New Year’s Day which of course is celebrated on the evening of December 31. New Year’s Day is the largest, most significant holiday in Russia, and people start preparing for it as early as the middle of December. In this lesson, you will learn about traditions associated with celebrating New Year’s Day in Russia, as well as some well-known New Year’s omens.

Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- how many times do you think New Year’s Day is celebrated in Russia?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading!

There is a Russian proverb that says “How you celebrate the New Year shows how the whole year will go.” In Russian, it’s “Как встретишь Новый год, так его и проведёшь.” It’s believed that the merrier and more joyful the New Year’s Day celebration is, the luckier and happier the next year will be. That is why everyone in Russia tries to celebrate New Year’s Day with their nearest and dearest. Many people like celebrating New Year’s Day with friends at a restaurant, while others may like going to a ski resort. But wherever you are, a big holiday tree is decorated in the main square in almost every city.

Almost all households set up a festive New Year spread which isn’t complete unless it includes Olivier salad, which is called “салат Оливье” in Russian, and champagne. As the saying goes, the more lavish the New Year spread is, the more prosperous the coming year will be, which is why the table is laden with numerous delicacies. People typically start sitting at their tables at 10 p.m., so they can raise a toast to the departing year. In the evening, the “Russia 1” TV channel shows the New Year’s Eve concert “Blue Flame” which in Russian is called “Голубой огонёк”. It’s also said that on New Year’s Eve, Grandfather Frost, or “Дед Мороз” and his granddaughter Snow White, or “Снегурочка” visit people’s houses and put presents under the New Year tree for kids. By the way, Grandfather Frost’s home is located in the city named “Великий Устюг”.

About ten minutes before the clocks strike midnight, the whole country listens to the President’s New Year speech. In Russian, it’s called “новогоднее поздравление Президента”. There is also a custom of making a wish while the Kremlin clock is chiming. After the last chime, people wish each other “Happy New Year” and clink glasses full of champagne. In Russian “Happy New Year” is “С Новым годом!”. People celebrate till morning, and the sounds of fireworks can be heard all night long.

Every year on New Year’s Eve, old Soviet movies are shown. The movie “The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!”, or “Ирония судьбы или с легким паром” has been shown every December 31 for more than twenty years.

So, coming back to our quiz, how many times do you think New Year’s Eve is celebrated in Russia?

Well, in fact, Russia is the only country in the world where New Year’s Eve is celebrated nine times. Because of its huge expanse, the territory of Russia includes nine time zones. The first ones to celebrate the New Year are the Кури́льские острова́ and Kamchatka, and the last one is Kaliningrad.

Happy New Year!

С Новым годом!
S Novym godam!

2. Must-Know Russian Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Russian Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

год
god

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Russia could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

полночь
polnoch’

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Новый год
Novyy got

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

вечеринка
vecherinka

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

танец
tanets

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

шампанское
shampanskoye

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

салют
salyut

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

отсчёт времени
atshchot vremeni

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Новогодние каникулы
Novogodniye kanikuly

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

конфети
kanfeti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Канун Нового года
Kanun Novogo goda

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

тост
tost

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

резолюция
rezolyutsiya

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

парад
parad

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At RussianPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Russian New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

So, you learned the Russian word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at RussianPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Russian friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Больше читать.
Bol’she chitat’.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Russian in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Russian language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Проводить больше времени с семьёй.
Pravadit’ bol’she vremeni s sem’yoy.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Похудеть.
Pakhudet’.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Накопить денег.
Nakapit’ denek.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to RussianPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Бросить курить.
Brosit’ kurit’.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Выучить что-то новое.
Vyuchit’ shto-ta novaye.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Меньше пить.
Men’she pit’.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Регулярно заниматься спортом.
Regulyarna zanimatsa sportam.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Кушать здоровую пищу.
Kushat’ zdarovuyu pishchu.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Russian with RussianPod101

учить русский язык с RussianPod101.com
uchit` ruskiy yazyk s RussianPod101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Russian, especially with us! Learning how to speak Russian can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. RussianPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Russian new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Russian, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Russian incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with RussianPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Russian could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Russian - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Russian - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with RussianPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Russian! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that RussianPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Russian at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Russian that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Russian with RussianPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian? RussianPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Russian Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Russian speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, RussianPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Start Learning A Language!

Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Russia
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How RussianPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Russia

Christmas Words in Russian

Did you know that in Russia people don’t give presents for Christmas? Let’s discuss how people celebrate Christmas in Russia.

Now, before we go into more detail, I’ve got a question for you - why is Christmas in Russia celebrated on January 7 and not on December 25?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Christmas, or as it’s known in Russian Рождество (Razdestvo), is actually observed in Russia on January 7. It’s a state holiday and a day off. As is the same in all Christian nations, Christmas in Russia is a celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ. In Russian, Jesus Christ is called Иисус Христос (Iisus Khristos).

Christmas in Russia is a warm, family-centric holiday which most Russian people try to spend at home. In Russia, It’s not customary to give each other presents for Christmas, there is no Santa Claus, and people don’t especially decorate a Christmas tree. On this holy day, a great number of people attend celebratory church services, make confessions, and receive communion. It’s customary to serve on a festive table, pork dishes such as aspic or холодец (Khaladets) in Russian, homemade sausages, and ragout.

The day before Christmas is called Сочельник (Sachel’nik), which means Christmas Eve. The word сочельник meaning “Christmas Eve” comes from the word сочиво (sochiva). Сочиво (sochiva) is a meatless porridge made from wheat with a little honey added. It’s customary to make twelve meatless dishes for Christmas Eve, among which there should be sochiva, a porridge made from wheat, millet, rice or other grains with added poppy seeds, walnuts, raisins, and honey. Tradition dictates that all twelve dishes must be sampled, but none should be eaten completely in order to ensure that there will always be prosperity in the family.

On Christmas Eve, the Orthodox churches are decorated with a Nativity scene including small models of Bethlehem Cave. In Russian, the Bethlehem Cave is called Вифлеемская пещера (Vifleyemskaya peshchera) with small figures inside. The Nativity scene depicts the birth of Christ. The main decorations of the Nativity scene are the manger with the baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or Дева Мария (Deva Maria), and Joseph, or Иосиф (Iosif).

In Russia, the tradition of Christmas divinations has been preserved right up until this day. Divinations made on the night of January 6 are considered the most accurate and truthful. On that night, young maidens request divinations about who their betrothed will be and when they will find love.

So then, why is Christmas celebrated on January 7 and not on December 25 in Russia?

It’s all because of the calendar. The Russian orthodox church uses the Julian calendar, or “The old calendar”. December 25th on the Julian calendar corresponds to January 7th on the Gregorian calendar.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Счастливого Рождества!
Schastlivogo Rozhdestva!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Счастливой Кванзы!
Schastlivoy Kvanzy!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Счастливого Нового года!
Schastlivogo Novogo goda!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Счастливой Хануки!
Schastlivoy Khanuki!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Весёлых зимних каникул!
Vesolykh zimnikh kanikul!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Увидимся в новом году!
Uvidimsya v novom godu!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

тёплые пожелания!
toplyye pozhelaniya!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Russian Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Весёлых праздников! Весёлых праздников!
Vesyolykh praznikaf!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Russian, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Наслаждайтесь праздниками!
Naslazhdaytes’ prazdnikami!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Всего самого лучшего в Новом году!
Vsevo samava luchsheva v Novam gadu!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Russian! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At RussianPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Рождество
Rozhdestvo

This is the Russian word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Russian will include this word!

2- Snow

снеговик
snegovik

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

снежинка
snezhynka

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

снеговик
snegovik

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

индейка
indeyka

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

гирлянда
girlyanda

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

северный олень
severnyy olen’

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Санта Клаус
Santa Klaus

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

эльф
el’f

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

оленёнок Рудольф
olenyonok Rudol’f

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Северный полюс
Severnyy polyus

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

санки
sanki

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

подарок
podarok

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

колокол
kolokol

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

труба
truba

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

камин
kamin

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Рождество Христово
Razhdestvo Khristova

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

украшение
ukrasheniye

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

чулок
chulok

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

падуб
padub

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

пряничный домик
pryanichnyy domik

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

леденец
ledenets

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

омела
omela

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Russian, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Russian! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. RussianPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit RussianPod101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Russian for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Russian, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, RussianPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Russian. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in RussianPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

Russian Culture - Russia Day in Russia

On June 12th of each year, the Russians celebrate a holiday known as Russia Day. This National holiday of the Russian Federation marks the approval of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet that took place on June 12, 1990.

The holiday was initiated on June 12, 1992 in remembrance of this momentous occasion. It symbolized the fight for democracy against the communism that was dominant in Russia at the time.

The national interest in economic reform formed the democratic movement for change. People responded to this new idea and the Russian statehood was consolidated to reflect a new constitution and a new President of the Russian Federation.

This was a great landmark reached and so the Russians celebrated this milestone in their political life and called it Russia Day. December 25, 1991 marked a new day for Russia as the country’s name was changed as the Supreme Soviet of Russian announced the beginning of a National holiday.

Russia Day is a reflection of the country’s past and its present as most country’s holiday do. It celebrates the culture of Russia as well as the experiences that brought the country to this point.

Previously, the holiday was known as Russian Independence Day, but was soon changed to Russia Day in 2002 as the people of Russia struggled to understand from whom they had derived their Independence even though it was said to have been from the Soviet Union.

The Russians saw this day as a day off from their normal life of going to work and doing other things. They viewed their status as a nation that has always been a Russian State despite the different name changes. There are some that see this as the day that their government had crumbled under pressure. Some remembered it as a time of social disorder and economic difficulties.

There are some who embrace it and enjoy the day of track and field that is held on the exterior of the Kremlin. On that day, the President of Russia gives away achievement awards in Science and Culture.

There are activist that use this day as an opportunity to protest against environmental issues. It symbolizes something different for everyone.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From RussianPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at RussianPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn Russian together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study Russian with RussianPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the RussianPod101.com Team!