RUSSIALINK RT: “Moscow celebrates despite coldest Christmas night ‘in 120 years.'”

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

“Bitterly cold temperatures haven’t stopped worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations. Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30C on Christmas night. In Moscow Region, temperatures dropped below -32C. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] New Year Address to the Nation

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Kremlin.ru – December 31, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends, The year 2016 is coming to a close. It was a challenging year, but the difficulties we faced have brought us together and allowed us to reveal enormous resources for our movement forward. The main thing is that we believe in ourselves, in our strengths and […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Speech at the official reception to mark the national holiday Russia Day

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, I congratulate you on Russia Day. This is one of our major national holidays, as today we honour our country, our Russia, that we love and take pride in. The civic, labour and military valour of the Russian people is evidenced by the many victories and achievements throughout […]

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Day of Russia symbolizes unity of people – Putin

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – June 12, 2016) The Day of Russia, the country’s National Day, reflects the responsibility of Russians for the country’s present and future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 12. “This holiday marks such utmost important values as Motherland, patriotism, and the unity of the people, reflecting our warm and sincere feelings about Russia, our responsibility for its […]

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Record Number of Russians Empty-Handed at New Year – Poll

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 25, 2016) Twenty-three percent of Russians received no gifts for New Year – the highest percentage for six years, according to a poll conducted by state-run pollster VTsIOM. For those who did receive gifts, the most popular items were sweets, alcohol and delicacies – these items were received by 24 percent of respondents, according […]

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A ‘new’ National Holiday serves to unite 11 time zones

Russia Regions Map

In a country where more than 130 languages are spoken, the idea of unity is a necessary theme to explore. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mikhail Shvydkoi – November 4, 2015) Mikhail Shvydkoi was the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation (2000-2004). On Nov. 4, Russian citizens will celebrate National Unity Day. This is a relatively new […]

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Ruble Fall Stokes Russian Holidaymaker Woes

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – July 30, 2015) Alexandra Khomenok booked a European holiday earlier this month, but her plans hit a stumbling block this week as the ruble took an abrupt plunge, scraping four-month lows. While the 27-year-old PR manager has already bought tickets for herself and her husband to fly to Italy in September, they […]

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Russia Day Holiday Important for only 3% of Russians

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 11, 2015) Only 3 percent of Russians consider the upcoming Russia Day national holiday, celebrated on June 12, among the important celebrations of the year, according to a recent poll by the analytical Levada Center. By far the most significant holiday for Russians is New Year’s, which more than 80 percent […]

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Victory Day in Kyiv

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Ukraine has a new holiday – 8 May, Day of Remembrance – and a new symbol, the poppy. But 9 May remains, as a reminder of the fact that war is ‘never a pretty story.’ (opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – May 11, 2015) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist […]

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A Guide to Celebrating Victory Day in Moscow

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Gladkova – May 6, 2015) Victory Day is coming and the capital is scrambling to prepare for Saturday’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. The day will be bursting with activity, from a massive military parade replete with shiny new tanks and military vehicles of yore in the […]

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Putin, Patriarch Kirill Kick Off Orthodox Christmas Celebrations

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 7, 2015) The Russian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill prayed for peace in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin attended mass at a village church in southern Russia, as Russia’s Orthodox believers celebrated Christmas on Wednesday. Russian Orthodox Church holidays are marked according to the old Julian calendar, with Christmas falling on Jan. 7, when it […]

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Russia Day: The country’s most misunderstood day off

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – June 12, 2014 Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – June 12, 2014) On June 12, Russia celebrates one of its youngest national holidays, Russia Day. Nominally a celebration of Russian statehood, the significance of the day is widely misunderstood, even within the country itself. What is the history of the holiday and how do Russians […]

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Interfax: Russians get ready to celebrate Victory Day – poll

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

MOSCOW. May 7 (Interfax) – Victory Day is one of the most significant holidays for Russian citizens, which is widely supported by people, Levada Center sociologists said citing the results of many years of polls provided to Interfax. According to the information of sociologists, in the past years the majority of Russian citizens, 70-72%, celebrate Victory Day in one way […]

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Old New Year Has Enduring Popularity in Russia

File Photo of New Year's Eve Revelers With Sparkler Near Kremlin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2014) Nearly half of Russians are planning to ring in the “Old New Year” on Monday night, in a sign of the enduring popularity of the holiday based on the old Julian calendar. “Old New Year” is a legacy of the calendar that the country used before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. The Russian […]

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Moscow Celebrates Russian Orthodox Christmas With Giant Apple Pie

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 7, 2014) This year’s warm temperatures meant believers in Moscow celebrated a red and gold, rather than white, Orthodox Christmas. Moscow confectioners baked a giant apple and cherry pie in celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas, which is marked on Jan. 7, based on the old Julian calendar. The 100 kilogram, 1.5-meter by 2.5-meter pie […]

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Eat, drink and be merry ­ but at your own expense!

File Photo of New Year's Eve Revelers With Sparkler Near Kremlin

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – December 31, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. New Year is by far Russia’s most important and lavishly celebrated public holiday.  But as Russians prepare to celebrate it, Putin is trying to impose austerity on […]

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What to Expect From The Year of The Horse

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 1, 2014) Many Russians love to honor the animal that symbolizes the coming year, based on the Chinese astrological calendar, believing ­ half-jokingly but many would insist ­ that it brings them luck for the next 12 months. “Whose year is the next one?” Russians ask each other around December. The […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] New Year’s Address to the Nation

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – December 31, 2013) Vladimir Putin welcomed in the New Year in Khabarovsk together with residents of the Far East who have suffered from devastating flooding. In Khabarovsk, the President delivered his New Year’s Address to the Nation. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Friends, The New Year of 2014 is almost here: in a few moments, we will take […]

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Russian New Year’s celebration: It’s all in the numbers

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – December 27, 2013) New Year celebrations are popular all over the world, but in Russia they are the main national holiday. The festivities last for at least eight days, and sometimes as many as 20. Russians’ pagan ancestors celebrated Kolyada, a winter solstice holiday. Early Slavs celebrated it from […]

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The truth about Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Artist's Rendition of Turkey, Autumn Leaves

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Mark H. Teeter – November 28, 2013)  Sometimes Russians get American history so muddled (так путаются в американской истории) that it can only be un-muddled by authentic Yankee ingenuity (аутентичной хитростью америкоса типа меня). Last week, my grandson Valerka displayed lecture-worthy prejudice regarding the origins of Thanksgiving (День благодарения): “Isn’t that the holiday,” chided the […]

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Russians don’t see People’s Unity Day as state holiday – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – Over a half of Russians (54%) see the Day of People’s Unity marked on November 4 as another day off and only 11% celebrate it as “a state holiday that unites the people of Russia and the country as a whole,” according to the Superjob.ru portal. It polled 1,000 respondents on October 17-18. “I see […]

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June 12: How Declaration of Sovereignty saved Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Artem Zagorodnov, RBTH – June 12, 2013) Sergei Shakhrai, one of the authors of Russia’s constitution, explained to RBTH what really brought about the USSR’s demise, and what prevented Russia from splitting apart further. During the turbulent years of the Soviet collapse, parliamentarian Sergei Shakhrai supported the Declaration of Sovereignty, passed by parliamentary […]

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Russia Day: From independence to summer holiday

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Cherkasov, special to RBTH – June 11, 2013) Conceived by the founding fathers of the new Russia and in the mold of U.S. Independence Day, “Russia Day” has become just a new summer holiday ­ mainly because no one has ever managed to figure out who Russia gained independence from. For almost […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Speech at reception on Russia Day

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I congratulate you on Russia Day. This holiday grows in importance every year. Its meaning, spirit and atmosphere reflect Russia’s development today. It is also a part of our history with all its difficult and sometimes dramatic moments. We all […]

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Only Half of Russians Can Name June 12 Holiday – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) ­ Only 50% of Russian citizens know the correct name of the June 12 national holiday ­ the Day of Russia, according to a survey by the Levada Center independent pollster. The survey, published on Monday, indicates that another 30% of Russians know this holiday by its previous name ­ the Day of […]

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Russia’s June 12 holiday: birth of a nation

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – June 10, 2013) Ask a handful of people about Russia Day, celebrated every year on June 12 since 1992, and you are likely to encounter confusion. Meant to celebrate the birth of the Russian Federation, a modern nation with a new Constitution and flag, the holiday does not have a lot of […]

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HSBC Blames Russia’s Stunted Growth in May on Extra Holidays

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rajeev Sharma – June 10, 2013) Russia’s stunted growth in the private sector in May was due to the extended holidays, while India led the pack of BRIC peers for economic growth, a report said. While noting that the economic growth in emerging market economies remained sluggish overall last month, the HSBC composite index, which […]

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Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) On Wednesday June 12 offices around Russia will empty as Russia celebrates Russia Day, one of the nation’s youngest public holidays. Since the day falls in the middle of the week, it will not be rearranged to make up a long weekend. “People will have to organize their working week to take […]

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On Victory Day, Putin Says Russian Soldiers Freed Europe

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has praised Russian soldiers as “the liberators of Europe” at a Victory Day parade with more than 11,000 soldiers and 100 military vehicles on Red Square. “We will always remember that it was the Red Army that didn’t allow the fascists to occupy the world,” Putin said a speech […]

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Russians readying to celebrate Victory Day – poll

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 7, 2013) Victory Day is one of the most significant holidays in Russia that enjoys mass support, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax quoting surveys of many years. The overwhelming majority of Russians, 70-75%, celebrated the Victory Day one way or another in the past three years, which was more than the number of Russians celebrating the […]

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Russia’s May holidays bring a week-long weekend

File Photo of Russian Tanks on Parade

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktoriya Semioshina, special to RBTH – May 1, 2013) In early May, Russians have two bank holidays in quick succession, both inherited from the former Soviet Union. This sometimes translates into as many as nine days off work ­ plenty of time to head for warmer climes, though many will opt to stay […]

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What to make of May Day?

File Photo of Russian Tanks on Parade

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Simon Speakman Cordall special to The Moscow News – April 29, 2013) Overshadowed by dramatic Victory Day celebrations, the May 1 holiday has yet to be redefined in the post-Soviet landscape There were four pivotal dates on the Soviet calendar; January 1, May 1, May 9 and, the anniversary of the revolution, November 7. Times, […]

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New Year makes Russians go childish

File Photo of New Year's Eve Revelers With Sparkler Near Kremlin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – December 26, 2012) Russian lavish New Year’s celebrations provide the chance to “fall into childhood” which Russians happily enjoy, a psychology professor told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. The superstition about wearing something new, stacking up on figures of animal symbols of the year and rhyming wishes might seem unnecessary to many, but […]

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Few Russians celebrate Western-style Christmas – poll

File Photo of Typical American Christmas Dinner Table

(Interfax – December 25, 2012) Only 7 percent of Russians celebrate Western-style Christmas, according to a Levada Center survey obtained by Interfax. The indicator stood at 5 percent in 2011, 6 percent in 2006, and 19 percent in 2003. It seems Russians are bracing for the long New Year holiday season, Levada Center said. The majority of Russians celebrating Western-style […]

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U.S. Can Learn From Russia About Unity

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2012) The extended holiday weekend gave us a chance to think about how the U.S. should borrow a page from Russia and introduce a new holiday of its own also called National Unity Day. As Americans go to the polls Tuesday to elect a president, the din from “blue” supporters of incumbent […]

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[TRANSCRIPT:] Vladimir Putin congratulated Russians on the National Unity Day.

Map of Russia

(Kremlin.ru – November 4, 2012) During the reception, Russian state decorations were presented to foreign citizens for their contribution to strengthening cooperation with Russia and developing Russian culture abroad. Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky presented the decorations. Speech at a reception marking National Unity Day PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends. Congratulations on the National Unity Day! This […]

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National Unity Day Still Just a Day Off for Most

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 31, 2012) Only 16 percent of Russians will celebrate National Unity Day this weekend, while for most other people the holiday is little more than a day off work, according to a poll released Wednesday. Despite its growing popularity since 2005, when the Nov. 4 holiday was instituted, a quarter of respondents could not […]

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Medvedev Backs 3 Extended Holidays for 2013

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 17, 2012) The country will enjoy three extended public holidays next year: 10 days for the New Year, five days for May Day and four days for Victory Day, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday. After an extra working day on Saturday, Dec. 29, the 10-day New Year […]

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