Russian Festivals

Why Russians Celebrates Two New Years?

Why Russians Celeberates Two New Years

Why Russians Celebrates Two New Years? The New Year is a festival celebrates all over the world. It is a festival where a new year starts. New Year’s Eve allows us to reflect on the previous year because most of us are different people 365 days ago.  

In Russia, New Year is an extraordinary holiday widely celebrates in all post-Soviet countries. It is always grand and even more widely celebrates than Christmas. It considers a family feast, and people join on New Year’s eve to stay with the closest people.

Russians has two New Years 

Yes, Russians celebrate two New Years: 

one on Jan 1 with the rest of the world, and the second one on Jan 14, the “old” New Year. This is base on the Orthodox Calendar.

The 1st January New year starts from Dec 31 of the previous year like most other countries. There are tons of fireworks and shows are held to mark the memorable holiday.

This New Year is named the “new” New Year because it was first recognized after Russia shifted from the Julian calendar (still understood by the Orthodox Church) to another calendar, followed by the Western world. During the Soviet period, the New Year celebrates Christmas; however, Christmas has been getting back in importance as a holiday more recently.

According to the Orthodox calendar, Russians have a second chance to celebrate on Jan 14, the traditional (i.e., “old”) New Year. This holiday is usually spent with family and is generally more peaceful than the New Year celebrated on Jan 1. 

The Old New Year is a reason to remember how you celebrated the New Year and the complete end of the holidays. From then, all people’s feelings finally switch back to work and the daily routine.

Why Russians Celeberates Two New Years

The traditions of celebrating the new year

There’s plenty of unique rules and fun.

There is a lot of stuff that every Russian does during the time of the new year:

  • Yolka with a star on top;
  • Home-made dishes, including the Olivier salad;
  • A Classic movie;
  • Champagne at midnight;
  • President’s speech;
  • Preparations

Russian Christmas Tree

Why Russians Celebrates Two New Years? It is similar to a Christmas tree. So do not throw away your Christmas tree once the holiday is over. Please keep it for a few more days, but call it by its new name, the New Year tree. However, a proper Russian yolk has one specific attribute: a star at the top.


The food starts preparing early in the morning on Dec 31. You will need to cook more food for your guests also. New Year festival is the time of plenty when tables are breaking under all the delicious dishes. It’s a must! can store The leftover food in the fridge, as the Old (!) New Year is just around the corner.

Russian Olivier Salad

Why Russians Celeberates Two New Years

Why Russians Celebrates Two New Years? In the end, your New Year’s table will not be complete without these three ingredients: herring under a fur coat, Russian Olivier salad, and tangerines. The Olivier salad (also known as the Russian salad) is probably the most popular zakuska (appetizer or snack) among Russians worldwide.

The announcer of the party at Russian New Year celebrations may set up a zakuska table for guests, which will cover with little bite-sized snacks that go well with drinks, dark bread, pickles, and marinated mushrooms.


Guests invite for a movie around 8-9 pm. All the people assemble around the table and watch classic Russian films. 

The Movie night in Russia said that you have to watch this movie if you want to understand Russians better.

The President’s Speech

Several minutes before the Kremlin clock on Spasskaya tower strikes midnight, people listen to the annual president’s speech. It is a ritual where people gather from all ex-USSR territories (about 1/6 of them in total) in front of the silver screens.

The president’s lecture usually doesn’t take long and starts 15-20 minutes before midnight.

Happy New Year

While the Kremlin clock beats the final minutes of the year, all can pour champagne in the glass, light sparklers, and make a toast to the eventful, lucky, and prosperous year to come!

Enjoying any festivity like a true local is fun in every destination, and New Year in Russia is no exception.

Folk tradition 

Folk traditions were an essential part of the celebration:

Children and young adults roamed from house to house with the melodies, asking for treats. The food of the night was usually pirogi or any other food. All the food was received in a basket and eaten just after the event.

Why Russians Celeberates Two New Years

The Telling of Fortunes:

Why Russians Celebrates Two New Years? A tradition performed at contacting the spirits to obtain information about the future was a must, especially for the girls dreaming about a happy marriage and love and for everyone who wanted to know what the future holds. So the girls asked to throw a felt boot or any other type of shoe on the road, and looking at the direction of the toe, which is supposed to show the direction of where their future companion comes from, was one of the most popular activities.

In Moscow, Red Square is the most popular public New Year’s Eve party. Parties organize there every year with sparkling wine or vodka in hand—to watch fireworks burst over the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral. 

Other cities throughout Russia will have their own fireworks displays or concerts on the night of Dec 31.

New Year is the most significant holiday widely celebrates within Russia from Dec 31 to Jan 1.


New Year is known as ‘Grandfather Frost’ ‘Ded Moroz,’ which presents children. He always comes with his Granddaughter (Snegurochka). The evening of New Year, where children hold hands, circle around the Christmas tree, and call for Snegurochka or Ded Moroz. When they arrive, the star and other lights on the Christmas tree light up! Ded Moroz carries a big magic staff. The formal greeting for Happy New Year Is’S Novym Godom’.

Rahul Modhgil

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