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Although banned during the Soviet times, Christmas is now regaining its popularity and religious meaning in Russia.
People in Russia celebrate Christmas Day with activities such as having a family dinner, attending a Christmas liturgy and visiting relatives and friends.
There is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day, when practicing Christians do not eat any meat.
The Lent period ends with the first star in the night sky on January 6 – a symbol of Jesus Christ's birth.
Russian authorities may sometimes declare a national vacation from January 1 to 10 due to the close proximity of New Year's holidays (January 1-5), Christmas and the weekends between these two holidays.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks banned Christmas celebrations.
Christmas Day in Russia marks the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian Orthodox tradition.People with these qualities or who are seeking these qualities will help you develop these qualities.Now I am going to say something shocking: Orthodox Christians are not always the most Christ-like people you know.Prior to Christmas Day, there is Christmas Eve, which marks the start of an old Slavic holiday, , in which young women used a mirror and candles to invoke the image of their future husbands.Like going to church, fortune-telling on Christmas Eve is again becoming popular in Russia.This does not mean that you do not hang out with people who are not perfect; that’s ridiculous, no one is perfect.What it means is that you look for Christ-like virtues: kindness, gentleness, self control, faith, joy, etc.Young people, my daughters included, often say that there are no good candidates among the Orthodox Christians they know. Often Orthodox Christian churches are small and choices are limited.Single Orthodox Christians have no easy road before them, especially if they suspect that they will be married some day.Many Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which often differs from the Gregorian calendar that is used by many western countries.Therefore the Orthodox Easter period often occurs later than the Easter period that falls around the time of the March equinox.