Sveta: New Year and Christmas in Russia!

The closer we come to our New Year holidays the more people ask Google about Christmas, Santa Claus and Grand Father Frost in Russia. Sometimes Google send these people to our site. So I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.When Kyle just came to Russia I warned him that we don’t have Christmas at 25th of December! He was a bit disappointed and maybe did not believe me completely. But it was 24th of December and nothing happened just regular work day in Russia. But I told Kyle just wait for 31 of December – New Year Eve is the same like Christmas in Russia.

How do the people meet The New Year in Russia?

All over the Russia people put Fir Tree (Ёлка) alive or artificial in the flats or homes, decorate them with glass and paper toys, colored lamps. People buys and cooks the best food, they try to find out in advance what clothes you suppose to wear this evening to have good luck next year. Every year it’s something different it depends on what year it will be in Oriental calendar. And I already found out it for You! Next year will be a year of Dragon, if we are exact it will be Year of Water Dragon. And all we know that Dragons like treasures! So jewelery, diamonds and gold will fit the New Year party, only bright colorful and unusual dresses for this year! ;)

Then people set a table for eats and turn on a TV; TV channels always have a good transmissions at New Year Ave, some old New Year movies and new New Year movies good concerts and so on… 5-7 minutes before midnight almost all TV channels transmit the Russian President “New Year Speech”… Medvedev always has had a good, kind New Year speeches and it’s always a pleasure to listen to him this way! When the Kremlin Clocks starts gonging, people open Champagne, clink glasses, tell each other С Новым Годом! (what means Happy New Year!) and continue feast :).

People in Russia believe that the way you meet The New Year, Is the way you’ll spend whole new year. That’s why they have the best food on the table and they try to eat and drink as much as possible. – because there are so much things to tell and to wish each other for New Year and you need always drink for it! ;)

(A lot of people comes out and shoot fireworks – till 4a.m that really very beautiful site-seen and a lot of fun!)

What about Santa Claus – no Santa Claus, that is Дед Мороз (Grandfather Frost) in Russia. And Grandfather Frost comes to the children at this, New Year night and put presents under the Fir Tree.

Really, there is not too much differences between Grandfather Frost and Santa Clause – and even in the stores we have a lot of Santa Clauses made in China, :) together with Grandfather Frosts and people buy them all and still call them Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost). Russian kids know the story about Santa and like it. They also know that Santa comes to kids in other countries and they wait for their Russian, Ded Moroz… then on the 1st of January; when parents are sleeping after the long New Year feast, kids are waking up and run to the Yolka (New Year Tree) to look what presents, Ded Moroz have brought to them! They are silent, don’t want to wake up parents, and just enjoy the presents!

Now I’ll tell you about Christmas in Russia. First of all I should tell that Christmas in Russia is at the 7th of January. How it could that be, maybe you want to ask me… That is cause of our calendar and our Orthodox Church. Before October Revolution (1917 year) Russian had Julian Calendar and it was not the same like in the rest Europe and America who had already Gregorian Calendar. Russian calendar was “late” for two weeks (Here is a link that you can read about Calendars) When Communists got to power they changed the calendar in Russia and made it the same Gregorian calendar like in other counties. But Russian Orthodox Church refused to change calendar of Church holidays that’s how it happened that Christmas in Russia is going after New Year.

As for Christmas: The Church in Soviet Union was separated from the state, so New Year was State Holiday and day off and Christmas was not. Christmas was just a usual workday in Soviet Union… After Soviet Union had collapsed our Government tries to revive some Church Holidays. Now Christmas is day off, in Russia,

Now we even have New Year holidays here . But Christmas has not become a really big holiday (maybe just for Church people.)

During New Year Holidays kids always go to watch New Year performances. The main characters there are Ded Moros and Snegurochka (Father Frost and Snow Maiden – his granddaughter) and now Ded Moroz tells public “С НОВЫМ ГОДОМ! С РОЖДЕСТВОМ ХРИСТОВЫМ” (Happy New Year and Marry Christmas!) And the mention of Christmas is one more of the changes that happened since Soviet Union collapsed.

Best wishes and be happy!

Svetlana

comments and questions always welcome

Windows to Russia!

Is There A Santa Claus in Russia? (Audio)

santa russian style

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and thinking about Santa Claus! Does Russia have a Santa Claus?

The answer is yes…

We in America believe that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole! Then on the 25th of December he delivers gifts to all the children in the world…

(link to north pole)

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply “Santa” is a historical, legendary and mythical figure believed by many children to bring gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…

The Russian Santa Claus:

In Russia, Santa Claus is known as Father Frost or Ded Moroz. He is usually illustrated with his granddaughter, the snow maiden, Snegurochka riding with an evergreen tree and presents in a traditional Russian troika. A troika is a sleigh drawn by 3 horses yoked abreast. The above photo below the Santa photo reads, “Happy New Year!” (click to read about Father Frost)

Real Christmas is now celebrated in Russia on January 7.  After the Russian October Revolution in 1917, the calendar was changed to place Christmas after New Year’s Day. This was done in order to place more emphases on the non-religious New Year’s Day. For this reason, the Russian Father Frost is associated with New Year’s Day rather than with Christmas…”

So the answer is yes: Russia has Christmas and Santa Claus, though different from in America, it just has a Russian twist to it…

Father+Frost

It works for me…

Posted by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

Santa Claus: his name around the world…

Santa Claus and his many names…

Country Name
Belgium Pere Noel
Brazil Papai Noel
Chile Viejo Pascuero (“Old Man Christmas”)
China Dun Che Lao Ren (“Christmas Old Man”)
Netherlands Kerstman
Finland Joulupukki
France Pere Noel
Germany Weihnachtsmann (“Christmas Man”)
Hawaii Kanakaloka
Hungary Mikulas (St. Nicholas)
Italy Babbo Natale
Japan Hoteiosho (a god or priest who bears gifts)
Norway Julenissen (“Christmas gnome”)
Poland Swiety Mikolaj (St. Nicholas)
Russia Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”)
Sweden Jultomten (“Christmas brownie”)
United Kingdom Father Christmas

This is not a full list by any means, but it is a good start and if anyone has more, then tell me and I will add it to the list…

Have a great Christmas, no matter when it is for you or your family…

Kyle and Sveta Keeton

Posted by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

Santa is Real!

the russian santaI was drinking a delicious cup of coffee on this cold and snowing day in Moscow. Russia is cold. The news reports are full of stories about cities in the Siberian Region that have lost power and it is -45C. degrees below zero. That is about -49 degrees F. Brrrrrrrrr….

As I was drinking this hot cup of coffee, I thought about Santa, Saint Nick, Father Frost, Grandfather Frost, Ded Moroz, Santa Claus, Chris Kringle, Pere Noel, Papai Noel, Viejo Pascuero, Dun Che Lao Ren, Kerstman, Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann, Kanakaloka, Mikulas, Babbo Natale, Hoteiosho, Julenissen, Swiety Mikolaj, Jultomten and Father Christmas! Yes all Santa in different parts of the world.

I remember well the letter that was written by a young girl (Virginia O’Hanlon). As we grew up we were taught about things like this. I grew up in a world that it was OK to believe. You were expected to believe…

There are now people who feel that Santa should not be believed in.

In fact Russia had to stand up for Father Frost: there was a TV ad that was banned in December of 2007. The ad for Eto electrical stores stated Father Frost, Russia’s version of Father Christmas, did not exist.

But because Russia stood up for Father Frost (Santa) the Western press had a hay day with this and put Russia down for censoring freedom of speech. The Western Press says that the Eto Electric company had a right to say there is no Santa. Russia says that the company is not the one responsible to tell children that there is no Santa. That their actions undermined parental authority, trust and respect!

Russia still stands by the decision to leave the telling of “No – Father Frost to the parents.”

I agree…

I grew up in a world that even if you did not think Father Frost (Santa) was real, you would never announce it to the world. You had more respect for the kids and not kids who believe or at least want to believe.

The world has more important issues than trying to destroy Santa Claus and good or bad, believing in Santa is the least of the evils that we have tossed at us on a daily onslaught…

I for one do not care what he is called. I believe in Santa Claus and feel he is an important part of growing up.

Since I am under a 100 years old still, I have a lot of growing up to do and I still believe in Santa Claus…

Posted by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

PS: You have any names I missed for Santa let us know and I will add them…

Russian Christmas from Windows to Russia!

Svet wrote a wonderful article for Christmas of 2007: (Let revisit that article!)

The closer we come to our New Year holidays the more people ask Google about Christmas, Santa Claus and Grand Father Frost in Russia. Sometimes Google send these people to our site. So I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.

When Kyle just came to Russia I warned him that we don’t have Christmas at 25th of December! He was a bit disappointed and maybe did not believe me completely. But it was 24th of December and nothing happened just regular work day in Russia. But I told Kyle just wait for 31 of December – New Year Eve is the same like Christmas in Russia.

How do the people meet The New Year in Russia? (click: read more for rest of article)

List of articles about Christmas is Russia!
Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.