Read about the origin, history and celebration of Christmas (Khristovym) in Russia.
Fundoo Times: Festivals: Christmas: Christmas in Russia

Christmas in Russia

Origin and History of Christmas in Russia

Christmas was celebrated much before the birth of Jesus to welcome the new weather. With the growing popularity and respect for Jesus, Christmas was gradually accepted throughout the world. Russians celebrated Christmas until the revolution of 1917. After which all religious celebrations including Christmas were banned. Thus there were no religious celebrations for nearly 75 years. Later in 1992, the Russian government once again gave permission for the religious observances. Thus the Christmas celebration started again in a grand fashion with the participation of saints from different cathedrals. The orthodox Russian church still observes Christmas on January 7th according to the Julian calendar.

Local name: Khristovym

Ways to celeberate Khristovym in Russia

Russians observe Christmas both as a formal ceremony and a blissful celebration. Before the actual celebration orthodox Russians perform traditional rituals that lasted 39 days until Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the most joyous celebration in Russia. On this Eve, family and friends get together to share the festive food. Although meat is not allowed for the festive dinner, the food is really a great celebration as it contains twelve courses in honor of each of the twelve apostles such as fish, cooked dried fruit, beet soup, Kutya and many more. On Christmas day special prayer services are held at the church and activities like singing hymns and carols are performed. A traditional Russian Christmas figure called Babushka gives presents to the children. According to the legend Babushka meaning grandmother did not go to see Jesus because of bad weather. However, she regretted her act and visited Jesus with presents. As she could not find Jesus she visited every house in Russia and gave gifts to beautiful children.