How to celebrate a Russian style Christmas

Christmas in MoscowTo celebrate a Russian style Christmas might require you to adjust to observing the event more as a winter festival rather than a religious one. Russian Orthodox Christmas takes place on January 7th and the celebration lasts six days. People fast on Christmas Eve and nothing is eaten or drunk until the first star appears in the sky. Once the first star has appeared in the sky, the festivities begin with a Lenten meal. If you are not averse to celebrating a very different kind of Christmas then here are some tips to help you.

A few suggestions

  1. On Christmas Day get together at your local church to sing hymns and carols. Decorate the Christmas or the ‘Yelka’ tree with flowers and colored lights. You may also decorate it with the famous wooden Russian dolls. Be prepared to leave it there till the end of January. You can also festoon your front door and the inside of the house with pine leaves.
  2. Let Grandfather Frost bring gifts to the children. Have an adult dress up like one. Another person (even a child) can dress up as his grand-daughter, the Snow maiden, and help him to distribute the gifts to everyone.
  3. Distribute candies to all the children after listening to them recite poems and rhymes.
  4. Cook traditional Russian Christmas dishes which include fish, beet soup known as Borsch, cabbage stuffed with millet and cooked dried fruit.
  5. Spread hay on the floors and tables so that it brings prosperity to your house in the coming year. Similarly make clucking noises so that hens can lay more eggs.


  • Babushka or grandmother can alternatively distribute presents to all children in the vicinity of your home.


  • Don’t let customs and traditions bind you so much that you are not able to enjoy the festivities. Follow only such customs that you can adapt and make your own

One Comment about “How to celebrate a Russian style Christmas”

  1. Yuri Says:

    umm i was born in russi and all we got was candy every yer

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