The Difference Between Russian and American Christmas


Via Trip Savvy

Alondra Pineda, Writer

The Christmas season is all about happiness and joy with family and friends. So how different can it be to celebrate Christmas in a whole different place, such as Russia? We know the basics of how the United States celebrates, but what we don’t know is how Russia celebrate Christmas.


Christmas in the United States is celebrated on the 25th of December. When Christmas finally comes around, people love to spend time with family. In the United States, it is a very popular tradition to also decorate your house with lights and Christmas decorations.

Christmas in Russia has a little back story, starting in 1929 when Christmas was banned. 62 years later, after the Soviet Union had collapsed, the people were finally able to celebrate Christmas once again. In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, while there is some Catholics who celebrate it on the 25th of December. On Christmas Eve, some people will fast until they witness the first star, in the memory of the Bethlehem Star.


The reason why I’m writing this article is because of the differences they have. One of the big differences is that, in the United States, we tend to celebrate on the 25th of December while in Russia they tend to celebrate on the 7th of January. In Russia on Christmas Eve, the most popular foods they like to eat is Sochivo, porridge dishes, and Vzvar, which is a sweetened drink that consist of dried fruit and honey boiled in water while in the United States the most popular foods to eat on Christmas Eve is fish, a part of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, ham, pie, turkey, mash potatoes, and eggnog. In the United States, getting Christmas presents wasn’t always a tradition, until the 19th century when it became normalized to give gifts to the children. Then, later on, it became more important to go out and buy Christmas gifts for more than just the children. In Russia, families will most likely give out presents on New Year’s Eve rather than on Christmas day, although there is still families who do give and receive gifts on Christmas Day.


It is clear that there are differences between the two Christmases. In this case, there were some pretty big differences such as when they celebrate and how. As we looked closer on how each of them celebrated, we found some pretty interesting information about Christmas in Russia. Now we know how different they actually are in how they celebrate Christmas.