Russian Christmas

Russia professes the Orthodox Christian religion.

Christmas in this religion is celebrated on January 7, which is December 25 of the calendar used by the Orthodox Church, the Julian calendar.

It has always been a very important holiday for Russians. The problem is that in the 20th century this changed: with the arrival of the Soviet Union and its anti-religious policies, Christmas was left aside in the calendars. It was celebrated privately and practically in secret, as it was not well seen and even dangerous to be openly religious. Instead, several holiday traditions were transferred to New Year’s celebrations.

And although since the 1990s Christmas has re-established itself as an important holiday, today it’s still somewhat overshadowed by New Year’s, and non-religious people do not always celebrate it.

Some ways we have of wishing someone a Merry Christmas are saying:

  • С Рождеством Христовым! (s razhdyestvOm khristOvym)
  • Счастливого Рождества! (shaslIvavo razhdyestvA)


In my house it’s an important holiday, we always try to prioritize having the whole family together for that date.

Do you celebrate Christmas? If yes, do you have any tradition for that day? :christmas_tree: :sparkles: :fireworks:


I like to try and do both, or at the very least, wish my Armenian and Russian friends (I taught English as a Second Language in both countries) a Merry Christmas on those days. From childhood, through the military, and then university my family’s Christmas tradition was to spend the morning and lunch with the family, then get together with friends for the afternoon and evening. Since my brother and I both left Florida (where we’re from) and moved to New York, because of the distance, our jobs, Covid, etc. Christmas has just turned into him and I spending the day together, calling home for a bit, then having friends over for dinner and drinks.

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It’s so nice that you can celebrate or at least remember both Christmases!
Thank you for sharing your Christmas traditions, it’s beautiful to read how everyone enjoys the same day in their own way and finds a way to make it relevant despite circumstances that aren’t always supportive. :christmas_tree: :heart:

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