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Celebrating New Year’s the Russian Way

Russian architecture.
Fly to Russia this New Year and experience Russian culture.

If there’s one thing that most Russians gloat over, it’s that they celebrate Christmas and New Year twice. There’s lots of food to go around and plenty of new activities to try out.

This is the time of the year where they get to make good memories with their loved ones — anyone would feel a bit of pride if their country celebrates the holiday four times.

To give you a brief background on this, let’s begin with the two types of calendars. We have the Gregorian and the Julian. The one widely used to this day is the Gregorian calendar.

The Russian government goes by the Gregorian calendar, but the Russian church goes by the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian.

It can get confusing that even the Russian thought so as well. To save themselves from the trouble of deciding when to celebrate their holidays, they thought, “Why not celebrate on both days?”

Of course, there are also those who prefer to go by the traditional Julian calendar to celebrate their New Year. But in this era of globalization, most of them have become more open to celebrating it alongside the rest of the world.

That’s not the only thing that most Russians have become open to. Because of the unbalanced gender ratio in Russia, many Russian women have opted to find themselves a foreign husband to wed.

You might be one of the lucky folks to have gotten themselves a Russian girlfriend. It’s not easy to impress them, and you have to prove your worth before you can win them over.

You’ll know for sure if she trusts you if she invites you over for New Year’s. To most Russians, this holiday is strictly a family affair. But if she and her family are willing to bend the rules to accommodate you, then you’d be a fool not to see that she’s into you.

To better prepare yourself for this inevitable encounter, here are some pointers you would need to know about New Year’s in Russia.

Couple in Moscow
Russian women have very high standards. So if you are currently seeing one, congratulations — you’re a catch.

Russian Etiquette to Observe When Coming Over for the New Year

Impressing a Russian woman will be as easy as long as you’re respectful to her and her family. So remember to maintain good manners and be open-minded to experiencing a new culture.

Here are a few good pointers to get you started:

No Russian would dare show up to a party empty-handed. It’s part of their culture to bring a host a gift. This goes to show that you thought about them before coming over. Not only that, but you also get to prove to your girlfriend’s family that you are amiable to cultural differences.

One thing that you’ll have to avoid giving is an empty wallet. If you give someone a gift like this, you are showing your desire to bring poverty to them. Well, at least according to Russian culture.

New Year’s isn’t complete without a toast. It’s always a given that the head of the family leads the toast after a few words. After that, they say “Vashe zdorovye!” and proceed to raise their glasses.

If you wish to take the liberty of pouring a glass for everyone, you’ll have to know that there is proper etiquette for this. No one else but you is allowed to pour the bottle of drink until it’s empty. It’s only then that someone else can assume responsibility.

Russians also believe that downing a glass of champagne after the clock strikes twelve brings good luck. So don’t be afraid to join in the fun with your girlfriend.

What New Year Dishes to Expect in Russia

No one can resist eating their heart’s out on a New Year’s table. With the many selections you have, it can be difficult to choose a Russian New Year food to try out first.

Salads are an absolute staple in a New Year’s feast. It’s like Christmas without gifts — it just feels incomplete not seeing them on display.

A popular selection among the Russians is the Olivier salad. This is a potato salad that consists of canned peas, eggs, chicken or pork, and chopped-up bologna.

Another potato salad that’s commonly seen on a New Year’s table is the salad vinagret. Make no mistake in thinking this is a dressing. This is a beet-potato salad dressed in olive oil.

Pickled snacks are popular Russian snacks that are often accompanied by liquor. A celebration as big as New Year is sure to have a good round of drinking. Pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers — the sky’s the limit whenever Russians choose a fruit or vegetable to ferment.

Pelmenyi is a Russian kind of meat dumplings that is dubbed as the “heart of Russian cuisine”. They can be store-bought or handmade. If your girlfriend does tell you that her

family is preparing pelmenyi, don’t be afraid to offer a helping hand — the kind gesture won’t be overlooked.

An Unforgettable New Year

Got everything you need for your holiday trip to Russia?

If so, then that’s great to hear. All you need to do is be your best, and you’re well on your way to becoming a future husband. Being invited to a New Year’s Dinner is a huge step in itself, and you deserve a pat on the back for having gone that far.

You must be doing something right for you to earn a Russian’s trust. You’ve won over an entire family at that.

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New Year’s is most commonly celebrated with the family. The only exception they are willing to make is when it’s a potential life partner for their Russian daughter.
Russian women can be very picky with their partners. They aren’t willing to settle with someone who can’t treat them well. Count yourself as one of the lucky few that manage to fit their preferences — your kind is a lot rarer than you think.

New Year is the first of the many celebrations you’ll share with your girlfriend. If things work out, there’ll be a lot more to look forward to. Best of luck, and have yourself a happy New Year!


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