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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in Russia series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 1- New Year's Day. In Russian, New Year's Day is "Новый год".
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 listening!
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.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything new?
How is New Year’s Eve celebrated in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!

5 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

RussianPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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How is New Year’s Eve celebrated in your country?

Friday at 4:19 pm
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Hi Rhona Hoggan,

Thank you for sharing your experience here with us ❤️️😉
You can always put the example, and celebrate the holidays the way you want, even if you are in a different country 😎

Let us know if you have questions regarding our lessons!
Cheers,
Laura
Team RussianPod101.com

RussianPod101.com
Thursday at 12:22 pm
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Hello Elizabeth,

Your sentence is almost perfect: В прошлом году, я ела итальянскую еду и пила белое вино. 😄

Elena
Team RussianPod101.com

Rhona Hoggan
Sunday at 9:46 am
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Sadly, New Year is not what it was in Scotland. Now, it’s organised events, meals and drinks out, or people just see in New Year in their houses. Some even go to bed before the bells! Can you believe that? 😳

Once, it was an all-night affair, and not much was done in the daytime after! First-footers would come in with various items and we’d all drink, eat and chat until God knows when!

Elizabeth
Sunday at 7:17 am
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привет!
в пошлом году, я ела итальянскую еду и пила белое вино.