In Russia we celebrate each event twice: two New Year's Eves - New Year & Old New Year. Also we celebrate two Christmases: Western Christmas and Russian Orthodox Christmas.
While some well off residents are heading for distant shores, many more will stay at home to see in the New Year in traditional fashion. Many Russians feel New Year would not be New Year without a midnight feast at home, salads and turkey, champagne and vodka, numerous toasts and a good movie on TV.
Beginning from Western Christmas Eve through to Russian Christmas on Jan. 7, Muscovites can take advantage of an ice carving show, parades, competitions, a large holiday fair, gala shows, music festivals and rock bands.
is the only purely Russian Holiday that backs back to the pagan times. For seven days Moscow jingles with bells, sings with garmoshkas and glares with gail-painted dresses. The people are letting the long-annoying winter out and the long-awaited spring in. The essential element of the festival is bliny (pancakes) that are served hot with either butter, or sour cream, or caviar, or mushrooms, or sturgeon - to any exquisite taste. Every day of Maslenitsa has its own name. The last day is called Forgiveness Sunday, when all ask one another for forgiveness in order to redeem themselves from their sins before the Great Lent and meet the New Year (in earlier times the coming of New Year was celebrated in March) fully relieved and light-hearted.
One of the two biggest Christian holidays - Easter symbolises the Revival of Jesus Christ. It is also celebrated in Russia. In the coming year 2003 Easter is celebrated on April 27 in Russia.
For the greater part of people of our country these holidays have lost their religious significance and are the days of family reunion, relax and happiness.