Don't Miss Russian Christmas 7 JanuaryEverybody knows that Christmas is 25 December — of course, unless you are Russian or Ukrainian.

Russia and Ukraine celebrate Christmas on 7 January, 13 days after your usual date.

Russians exchange presents on the New Year’s Eve, which westerners do on Christmas day. The day of 7 January is a family gathering day, as opposed to the festive table predominantly for friends for the New Year’s Eve.

So, if you have missed 25 December or had no chance to congratulate your Russian or Ukrainian sweetheart with Christmas or the New Year, use this opportunity to bring a smile on her face.

Russian Christmas

7 January is a public holiday in Ukraine and Russia. Many people will also go to the night service in a church in the early hours of the morning.

Churches became more popular in the last decade in Russia, with many people attending services for special dates. The government assists in building new cathedrals for the Russian Orthodox church, the most popular religious denomination in Russia.

Governmental assistance is also provided to other major denominations, such as Islam, with large parcels of land allocated in convenient locations for religious worship.

Russian Christmas is typically just 3-4 days before kids go back to school after a break. Normally school children return to their studies on 10-12 January, usually on Monday.

Many companies close their offices from the end of December to the first day of school in the new calendar year, giving their employees an opportunity to take a short break.


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Russian Christmas is not something you are used to see in Europe or the USA. It isn’t celebrated this big and officialy, almost all the presents are already given on the New Years’s Eve. But a lot of Russians just use this day as an other opportunity to get together with their relatives, to celebrate one more time with the friends or just to go on a little trip for couple of days.


Christmas is a wonderful family holiday and it is one more opportunity to meet relatives and close people. So, today my parents and me visited my sister, saw her new standard lamp and an arm-chair, we had some photos, just spent time together!


What a wonderful holiday, makes me relax once again after Dec 25th, and the Happy New Year. We keep celebrating all together since my wife is Russian. The tradition is rather sweet, and nice. Just like the US makes the whole family come together and enjoy the eve. The difference is just a matter of dates, the calendar… the main reason is same great. Besides, it’s my friends’ son birthday as well! What a mystical night, it’s a pleasure staying at my relatives’ snowwhite Moscow!


I like this holiday so much, it’s more connected with fairytales than any other holiday, even the New Year is not so mysterious as Orthodox Christmas. And in this country many associate it with Gogol’s “The Night on Christmas Eve”, where it is described the rural life of Ukrainian of the 19th century in a funny and thrilling manner.