2023 Author: Priscilla Miln | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 06:25
Winter in Russia is rich not only in snow and frost, but also in holidays. Moreover, many of them are not just "red days of the calendar", but real celebrations, accompanied by fun festivities, as well as days off.
What are the winter holidays in Russia? When and how are they celebrated?
Saint Nicholas Day
December 19 is a pleasant childhood memory for many Russians. It was on this day that it used to be customary to give gifts to children. A few decades ago, on this winter children's holiday, letters were written not to Santa Claus, but to St. Nicholas. This custom appeared thanks to one legend.
In ancient times there lived a poor man in Russia who did not make any fortune. But he had three daughters, the maintenance of which fell on the shoulders of the father. And in order to somehow improve his financial condition, the father sent his daughters to earn money, but in a sinful way - fornication. Nicholas the Wonderworker found out about this and decided to save the girls from such a life. For three nights in a row, he secretly entered the room of each and left each with a gold ingot. It is not known how, but the peoplelearned of this noble deed.
After a while, when the Day of the Savior Nicholas became a holiday, one of the customs was to write a letter with a request to Nicholas. Children especially liked this holiday. After all, their parents secretly planted gifts for them, supposedly from the Miracle Worker.
New Year. Fun and bright
The series of winter New Year holidays begins with the main celebration - the New Year. The official date is January 1, legalized by Peter I in 1699. Probably, many people know that until the 15th century the New Year was celebrated in March, and since the 15th century - in September. And only to Peter we owe winter festivities and a decorated Christmas tree.
And what is the New Year without traditions?
The main and most enjoyable is decorating the Christmas tree. After the New Year became a winter Russian holiday, it was customary in the homes of the nobility to decorate spruce branches. But full-fledged Christmas trees began to be set only in the 30s of the XIX century.
- In the same 19th century, another New Year's tradition appeared and took root - drinking champagne for the holiday. True, at first the drink was accepted with skepticism: its "exploding" cork and the abundance of fizzy bubbles frightened the Soviet people, unaccustomed to such drinks.
- Luxury feast. It is difficult to imagine a celebration without this tradition. It became fashionable to decorate the table not only with dishes, but also with beautiful decoration during the reign of Alexander III. Particular attention was paid to serving: on the tables, in addition to a beautiful service, there were candles, spruce branches, exquisite napkins and tablecloths. The design of the dishes was also given due attention. But the menu design was an innovation: the names of the dishes served were written on beautiful cards with monograms and other patterns.
Festive festivities. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Russians have had a new tradition - to celebrate the New Year at home, in the circle of relatives and friends, and after midnight to go out to have fun in restaurants or other entertainment places. In modern Russia, it has become popular to celebrate the celebration on Red Square, where concerts, mass skating and fireworks are held.
- Write a letter to Santa Claus. According to one version, this tradition came to Russia from the USA. American children write letters to the "analogue" of our Santa Claus - Santa Claus. According to popular belief, only those children who have behaved well all year can qualify for gifts.
The night from December 31 to January 1 is considered magical. To be more precise, that one minute, which is the boundary of the change of times. It is while it lasts that it is customary to make a wish.
So, we can say that the New Year's winter holiday is endowed not only with magic, but also with mysticism.
January 7 is Christmas Day. Since it is included in the category of New Year holidays, the Christmas tree is not yet removed at Christmas. Lush feasts are not organized, but some religious families prepare their traditional dishes for the celebration. Night services are held in the churches, which gather a large number of people of all ages under the dome. The service for the birth of Christ lasts all night.
For 40 days before Christmas, fasting is established, which is especially tightened on January 6 - on the eve of the holiday. Lent ends on January 7th.
Old New Year
Old New Year (Old Style New Year) is a Russian winter holiday that celebrates its centenary in 2018. It is from 1918 that every year on January 14, or rather, on the night of 13 to 14, this celebration takes place.
However, not many celebrate it, and not as grandiose as the New Year. But this is another reason to get together with family or friends, to review the rerun of the New Year's television program.
In the Old New Year it is customary to go from house to house and "sow". Children or adults go from house to house and sprinkle the threshold of the house with grain, saying: "I sow, I sow, I sow, I congratulate you on the New Year!" This tradition has been preserved since ancient times, when the New Year was celebrated in the spring. And sowing is a wish for a good harvest.
January 19 - Epiphany. The main feature of the holiday is Epiphany water, which on this day acquires healing properties. From early morning, people rush to the church to bless the water. At night, mass bathing takes place in the holes in the open air. It is on January 19 that everyone expects Epiphany frosts - the most severe for the whole winter. This fuels interest in swimming. It is believed that, having bathed in ice water, a person not only improves he alth, but is also "born again" - relieves himself of the burden of problems that have fallen and feelsfree.
Earlier, on January 19, it was customary to remove Christmas decorations until next year, and burn the Christmas tree. Now it is irrelevant.
February 14 is a very popular holiday - St. Valentine's Day, or Valentine's Day. This is a borrowed celebration that is firmly rooted in Russia and has won popular love. Even the primordially Russian holiday, the Day of Peter and Fevronia (July 8), is not as widely celebrated as Valentine's Day.
The symbol of February 14 is valentines - cards with words of love.
Defender of the Fatherland Day
February 23 - Defender of the Fatherland Day, when it is customary to congratulate all men, regardless of whether they are involved in the army. In fact, all men are defenders of the Motherland.
The holiday is dedicated to the creation of the Red Army in 1918. But he began to celebrate after 4 years, accompanied by military parades.
What other holidays are there in Russia
The above celebrations are the most popular in the country. They are celebrated according to all the rules of the festivities, and most of them provide for the presence of days off.
However, Russian winter holidays do not end there. There are many more primordially Russian festivities that originate from the time of paganism. Many of them have remained only at the hearing and are not celebrated as before. But it is impossible not to mention them.
- December 1 - holidaythe beginning of winter. In ancient times, the first day of winter was a landmark for the entire period, until spring. They said this: "What is Plato and Roman - such is our winter!" That is, if the day of December 1 begins with frost, then the whole winter will not be warm. On this holiday, people went out and had fun, welcoming the new season.
- December 7 - the celebration of Catherine the sleigh. On this day, the period of divination for the betrothed was opened, which continued until the January Christmas time. Another feature of "Ekaterina" was sledding. Their holding carried not only an entertaining meaning, but also a psychological one. Sledding took off all the mental hardships and worries.
- December 9 - St. George's Day - another winter holiday celebrated in Russia, and now in Russia. Even before the adoption of Christianity in Russia, this day was the most important in December. By the way, the saying "Here's to you, grandmother, and St. George's Day" is dedicated to this holiday. In 1607, she was "accidentally abandoned" as a reaction to the fact that serfdom "started" in Russia.
- December 13 - Andrew the First-Called. The celebration is dedicated to the first disciple of Christ, who said that a new faith would soon be spread in Russia. This holiday was especially loved by unmarried virgins, who actively began to guess at the betrothed and pray, asking God to send a good spouse. It was believed that it was on the day of St. Andrew the First-Called that prayers bear fruit.
- December 19 - Nikola Zimniy. This is the time to honor the elders of the family.
- December 22 - Anna Dark (orWinter). The time of the winter solstice, when the sun "retuned" to spring time.
- December 25 - Spiridon-Solstice. From that moment on, people glorified the sun, drew circles as a symbol, and organized festivities.
- December 31 is not only the celebration of the New Year. Centuries ago, this day was called the End of the Cold Moon. After him, the sun was gaining momentum and heading towards spring. On this day, it was customary to keep the fire in the stove or on candles, on fires. It was believed that this not only helps the sun, but also scares away evil spirits. Now such a fire has been replaced with Christmas tree garlands and holiday candles.
- January 1 is the first day of the New Year. But before the decree of Peter I, January 1 was the date of veneration of the holy Christian martyr Boniface.
- January 2 - the day of Ignatius the God-bearer.
- January 6 - Christmas Eve.
- January 25 - Tatyana's day.
- February 10 - Kudesy. This is the date of honor and respect for Domovoy - the keeper of the hearth. On this day, it was customary to cajole a representative of evil spirits, carrying only good. Treats were left on the table as a sign that Brownie would not leave the house and stop playing tricks.
- February 15 - Candlemas, that is, the "middle" between summer and winter. From that moment on, people lived in anticipation of spring and early warmth. On February 15, all people's prayers were addressed to the sun, to requests for its imminent arrival. If the weather was sunny that day, it meant that spring was just around the corner. But if it was cloudy, it means that the frosts will still declareabout me.
- February 24 - Vlas'ev day - the date of veneration of the pagan God Veles, the patron of livestock and all animals.
- The last week of February - seeing off winter, Maslenitsa.
Winter holidays in Russia are the most fun celebrations of the year, accompanied by lavish festivities and grandiose feasts. And the abundance of snow and frost only enhances the enthusiasm and desire to continue the celebration on the street.
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