Happy “New” New Years!!???

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Happy “New” New Years!!???

21be9a4bd4f81549a9d1d241981cec3cGuys if your lady love seems a little giddy this week you may find yourself a bit confused. With Christmas a few days behind us what could she possibly be so excited about and how can you join in? To the uninformed (me before joining the Dream Team) you may believe that your sweetie has now changed her holiday focus and is now anticipating a romantic Valentines day but of course that would most likely be wrong. It may be surprising to learn that in Russia New Years is actually their most popular holiday and is a 5 day event in which most Russians enjoy time off from work while celebrating in style. There are indeed some similarities between the way New Years is celebrated in the US and Russia but there are many differences as well. First things first …. Go ahead and drag the Christmas tree back inside the house from the curb because in Russia it’s a New Years tree and your celebration is naked without one.

Which New Year is It?

There are 2 separate New Years Holidays celebrated in Russia within close proximity to each other. For westerners this concept is indeed a little difficult to grasp in the beginning because … well how can the year start twice? The truth is most celebrations occur on December 31st/January 1st and are marked with fireworks and concerts (with any luck featuring Bianka or these ladies ). This New Year holiday is considered the “New” New Year because it began to be recognized after Russia made the switch from the Julian calendar (still recognized by the Orthodox Church) to the Gregorian calendar followed by the West. Christmas follows “New” New Years followed by “Old New Years” a few days later on January 14th… make sense? This “Old New Year” is usually spent with family and is generally quieter than the New Year celebrated on January 1st.

Santa Who?

We all know the story of Jolly old Saint Nick gleefully lording over a horde of elf slaves volunteers, making toys for good boys and girls even though nobody gets hand made toys anymore and everyone just shops on Amazon. Western children are taught that Santa is watching you year round and leave out milk and cookies in anticipation of the hefty breaking and entering expert paying them a visit. In Russia rather than awaiting a visit from Santa Claus, children believe in the no less mythical Grandfather Frost who wears a long blue or red coat, a matching hat, fur boots and carries gifts in a large sack on his back. Not one to be satisfied with just carrying around a sack of gifts, Grandfather Frost also brandishes a magical staff that has the power to freeze everything around him. Grandfather Frost also doesn’t need a team of magical reindeer to deliver his gifts instead opting to walk, ski or guiding his team of magical horses to his destination (Grandfather Frost is basically the Chuck Norris of mythical figures).

The Snow Maiden

If you are not impressed by Grandfather Frost it’s only because you haven’t met his gorgeous granddaughter Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) yet. Wherever Grandfather Frost happens to make an appearance you are sure to find the Snow Maiden close by. This classic beauty wears a blue or white fur coat and wears her hair in a long braid that would make Goldilocks jealous. If you have ever voted in or viewed our Snow Beauty contests you will notice that while we have our share of Sexy Santas many of the girls will also dress as the Snow Maiden including this years first place winner (I’m sure a much sexier version of the Snow Maiden but I don’t hear anyone complaining).

How to Celebrate New Years

New Years celebrations will undoubtedly vary from one family to the next but traditionally family and friends will enjoy a meal of Russian salad, herring, and sparkling wine along with a table of zakuski (think Russian tapas). At 11:55pm many people stop to watch the presidential address, discussing the events and achievements of the previous year before toasting the ringing of your new year with the Kremlin clock. It is then that people begin wishing each other a happy new year and exchange gifts with loved ones.

So there you have it. The reason why your beautiful baby may be distracted this upcoming week. While we in the states are dreading the long break in between New Years Day and the next paid day off they are planning a 5 day New Years Vacation in Russia followed by Christmas and then ANOTHER new years. Now that you know a little more about this unique Russian celebration why not impress your girl with your newfound knowledge of the subject. Ask her what they will be eating for her celebration, for pictures of her decorated tree, mention she is more beautiful than all of the Snegurochkas in the world and of course it wouldn’t hurt if you surprised her with a New Years gift. You never know … maybe her New Years resolution will be to thank you right back!

 

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