Christmas in Russia,St. Nicholas,Grandfather Frost,Snow maiden,Ded Moroz,Snegurochka,Russian troika,Holy Supper,Jesus' apostles,Peter the Great,Special Christmas food,meat dumplings,Holy Supper,feast,horses yoked abreast,fall of Communism,New Year's Day
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Festivity - Christmas in Russia
Christmas is celebrated in Russia more often on January 7th or on December25. January 7th is corresponds to December 25 in the Julian calendar. New Year's Day January 1 is the most popular holiday and celebrated nationwide.

Since 1992 the Christmas celebration has been revived after decades of suppression by the communist government. It is centered on the Christmas Eve "Holy Supper", which consists of twelve servings, one to honor each of Jesus' apostles. Many current Russian Christmas customs, including their Christmas tree, or "yolka", were brought by Peter the Great, after his western travels in the late 17th century. Special Christmas food includes cakes, pies and 'meat dumplings'.

The Russian traditions were largely kept alive by shifting some of them, including the visit by gift-giving "Grandfather Frost" (Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter "Snow maiden" (Snegurochka), riding with an evergreen tree and presents in a traditional Russian troika. A troika is a sleigh drawn by 3 horses yoked abreast. They deliver gifts to children. St. Nicholas is especially popular in Russia.

The feast of St. Nicholas (December 6) was observed for many centuries, but after the Russian October Revolution in 1917, the celebration of the feast was suppressed and St. Nicholas was transformed into “Grandfather Frost”. This may be done in order to place more emphases on the non-religious celebration New Year's Day. Father Frost is associated with New Year's Day rather than with Christmas.
With the fall of Communism, Christmas can be openly celebrated - either on December 25t; or January 7th. This unusual date is because the Russian Orthodox church uses the old 'Julian' calendar for religious celebration days.
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