Christmas in Russia

Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7th every year with unlimited zeal and fervor. Russians follows the Orthodox Church and so the time of the year is different from the rest of the world. Tourists visiting during the Christmas in Russia will have a gala time as clubbed with New Year celebrations. Every region of Russia remains in a joyous mood.
Russia is a vast country attracting tourists with lovely sightseeing, imperial wonders and rich cultural heritage. The majority of the country is Christians and Christmas is the chief festival. Major parts of the country follow the Orthodox Church that still follows the Julian calendar. According to this Calendar, the Christmas day for the country is 13 days behind the Christmas day celebrated in the rest of the world.
Christmas in the country is a time for celebrations and following the age-old traditions and customs of the region. Russians fast for 6 weeks before Christmas. No meat is allowed during the fasting period and Russians eat only vegetarian food. Parties and gatherings are not appreciated during the fasting period.
For some span of tine in the past, Christmas celebrations were not taking places in the country. The famous 1917 Revolution in the country banned celebrating this festival. No public holiday was given on Christmas. After 75 years of strong opposition, Christmas finally regained it lost glory and was declared a national holiday in the country.
Today, Christmas is celebrated in a grand manner in the country. The cathedrals and churches across the country organize whole nigh mass. Candles and incense filled atmosphere in the religious sites is a really a wonderful sight.
Some distinctive practices are associated in the country. These practices are mixture of the Christian traditions and pre-Christian past. One of the very popular practices in the country is that groups of people disguise as Maher animals wander from house to house ands sing special songs called kolyadki. These songs have various topics like carols sung for baby Jesus. People in return pay coins and food as appreciation for songs.
The Christmas evening dinner is strictly vegetarian. The most desirable dish is Porridge, specially made for Christmas and is called kutya. The main ingredients are beery, wheat, honey and poppy seed. All the ingredients symbolize hope, immortality, happiness, and rest. All the family members eat this special dish from a single dish reflecting love and unity for their dear ones.
Source:travel.mapsofworld.com

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