Almost every country has holidays honouring important events in its history. Some holidays come on the same date, some are movable. T he first holiday of the year is New Year's Day. People see the new year in at midnight on the 31st of December. They greet the new year with champagne and listen to the Kremlin chimes beating 12 o'clock. There are lots of New Year traditions in Russia. In every home there is a New Year tree glittering with coloured lights and decorations. Children always wait for Father Frost to come and give them a present. Many people consider New Year's Day to be a family holiday. But the young prefer to have New Year parties of their own.
W e celebrate the first day of Christmas on the 7th of January. On the 6th of January people tidy the whole house, cook much tasty food because the day after we must not work, we must have a rest. On this day we have a sacred supper. It begins when the first star lights up. As the legend says, this star announced the birth of the God's Son. We celebrate Christmas for two days.
M aslenitza is one of the most favourite holidays in our country. It lasts from Monday till Sunday. It comes either at the end of February or at the beginning of March. This holiday means the end of winter and the spring coming. It has pagan origin. During this holiday people visit each other, children play snowballs, light bonfires, enjoy horse-sledging. During these days people should avoid eating any kind of meat, but they are to eat much butter, cheese, sour cream, lots of pancakes.
Non-official "Men's Day" is the 23d of February, it is a public holiday called "The Homeland Defenders Day". On this day women usually give men small gifts. On the 8th of March we celebrate Women's Day when men are supposed to do everything about the house and cook all the meals. This is pretty nice at least once a year women can take a break and forget about all those dishes, cooking, kids, take a magazine and relax on a coach.
The greatest national holiday in our country is Victory Day - the 9th of May. Many veterans take part in the military parade and lay wreaths on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Radio and television broadcast popular war songs. A lot of guests from different countries of the world come to Moscow to participate in the celebrations..
One of religious holiday is Easter. It is movable. It is usually the first Sunday after the first full moon after the beginning of spring. In Russia we have special attributes of Easter: Easter eggs, and Easter "paskha" that are baked according to the special recipe. It is a very nice spring holiday.
Independence Day is a new holiday in our country. On the 12th of June, 1992, the first President of Russia was elected. The 1st of September is the Day of Knowledge it's the beginning of a school year. Children go to schools with flowers for teachers. The 12th of December the Constitution Day. This day the first Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in Russians love to celebrate. We adopted the Western holidays such as St. Valentine, and Halloween.