Every country in the world has its own national festivals. However, there are also festivals which are common almost for all countries, for example, the New Year, the first day of every year. In Russia it is the most popular festivals, but in the West Christmas is more important. The New Year is a family party. It starts already in the eve, on the 31 st December. People prepare a festive dinner, with unusual dishes and a lot of sweets. Some years ago a tradition appeared to put dishes on the festival board liking by the animal which will rule the next year according to the Chinese calendar. For example, for the little monkey one must put bananas. Well, the New Year Party begins with the festival banquet. Lights are burning in the decorated fir-tree. At midnight people congratulate each other to the New Year and drink champagne. Then people watch TV or go for a walk.
There are in Russia other family parties, for example, 8 th March, or the day of Women. Historically seen, that was a political festival in honour of the German women’s communists Klara Zetkin and Rosa Luxembourg. Then, however, the festival changed into a marvelous day when all men congratulate their dear women and give them presents and flowers.
There is also the day of Men, or the day of the Defenders of the Fatherland, if we call it officially. It is celebrated on the 23 rd of February. The President made recently this day work-free.
Some holidays in Russia are dedicated to different historical events, for example, Day of Victory (9 th May), Day of Independence Russia (12 th June), Day of Constitution (12 th December). In addition, different professional festivals are celebrated in Russia, like day of the Doctors or day of Paratroopers.
In the last decades Russian people also started to celebrate church holidays. The most important church holidays are Christmas and Easter. In Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7 th December, and Easter two weeks later than in Europe.
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