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Holidays and events

Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, according to the Julian calendar observed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Christmas is a public holiday in Russia, celebrated by many Christian Russians as one of the most important holidays of the year.

People in Russia celebrate Christmas Day with activities such as having a family dinner, attending a Christmas liturgy and visiting relatives and friends. There is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day, when practicing Christians do not eat any meat. The Lent period ends with the first star in the night sky on January 6th– a symbol of Jesus Christ's birth. Many Orthodox Christians go to the church to attend a Christmas liturgy that evening.

Christmas Day is the beginning of the Christmas period, which lasts until 19 January. During this time, Russian girls used to guess “the future” and who would be “their groom”. It was believed that at Christmas time, such guessing was most likely to come true.


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