Around the world customs, traditions - Russia

Ladies and gentleman tonight i have been researching other countries traditions trying to find out if there the same as ours in the UK i have come across some very interesting findings here what i found.

Today we are studying Russia:

They have Easter just like we do in the UK

ChristmasChristmas is the holiday of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, whose advent gave people hope for mercy, kindness, truth and eternal life. The Orthodox Church observes Christmas according to the Julian Calendar, on January 7, while Western churches celebrate it on December 25, in accordance with the Gregorian Calendar. 

Ivan KupalaSince ancient times all peoples of the world have celebrated the end of June, the peak of the summer. Russia’s version of such a holiday is Ivan Kupala. On the night of 23 June, everyone celebrated this mystical but at the same time jolly holiday full of ritual acts, rules and prohibitions, songs, chants and all kinds of fortune-telling, legends, and beliefs.

On that day people wore girths of flowers and wreaths of herbs. They reeled, sang songs, stoked bonfires with poles topped by burning wheel, the symbol of the sun.
Another tradition was to pour dirty water on everyone in sight. It was believed that the more often people run to swim the purer their souls would become. The most healing swimming was considered at dawn.

Russian maslenitsa -  Perhaps the most cheerful holiday in Russia is Maslenitsa (Shrovetide). This holiday is considered to come from pre-Christian times, when the Slavs were still pagans.

In the old days Maslenitsa was for remembrance of the dead. So the burning of the figure of Maslenitsa means her funeral, and blini (pancakes) – coliphia. But with time the Russians longing for fun and entertainment turned the sad holiday into jolly Maslenitsa with blini - round, yellow and hot as the sun, sledding and horse sleigh riding, fistfights and mother-in-law chatting. The rituals of Maslenitsa are very unusual and interesting because they combine the end of the winter holiday rituals and the opening of new spring festivals and ceremonies, which were to promote a rich harvest.
Maslenitsa is celebrated during the week preceding the Lent. Every day of Maslenitsa was devoted to special rituals.

If you are invited to a Russian home for dinner, be sure to bring a gift for your hosts - a bottle of wine or flowers or good Russian chocolate is always welcome.
If you bring flowers, make sure the number of flowers is uneven; even numbers of flowers are for funerals. 
Do not shake hands or kiss across the threshold of the door step, this is considered bad luck. 

Take off your gloves when shaking hands. 
Be prepared to remove your shoes when entering a home You will be given a pair of tapachki or slippers to help keep the apartment clean. 
When entering or exiting a vehicle the man steps out first so as to offer his hand to the lady whom he is accompanying. 
On public transportation, offer your seat to mothers with children, the elderly or infirm. People will admire you. 
Men should offer to carry the parcels of women they are accompanying. 
If you cross your legs keep the sole of your shoe facing the ground It is a sign of disrespect to show people the soles of your shoes. 

Offer to share your snacks and cigarettes with those around you, especially on the train or at the office. 
Be prepared to accept smoking. 
Be prepared to accept all alcohol and food offered when visiting friends, and it can be quite a lot, Refusing a drink or a toast is a serious breach of etiquette. An open bottle must often be finished. 

Be prepared to give toasts at dinners, etc. Be careful, the vodka can catch up with you!
Dress up for the theater, Be on time and don't take photographs. 
Be careful in complimenting something in a home. Your host may offer it to you. 
Don't put your thumb between your first two fingers. It is a very rude gesture. 

WOMEN IN RUSSIAWomen should be accompanied by a man in restaurants and in hotels. Women are not supposed to be assertive in public, carry heavy bags if walking with a man, open doors, uncork bottles or pay for themselves in social situations (even if they do heavy construction work or work in warehouses and are quite healthy). This custom of relying on a man makes the man look good in public. 

IN CHURCH: In Russian Orthodox Churches women should wear a skirt and cover their heads with a scarf. Men should bare their heads.

Before leaving on a long trip, sit quietly for two minutes. 
Leave something behind in Russia and you will come back.
Do not whistle indoors - you will blow away all your money .
Touch one of your buttons when you go past a cemetery. 
Ensure that all your debts are settled before 31st December; otherwise you will be in debt for the whole of the next year.

Good will:
Please - Pozhalusta
Thank you - Spasibo
How are you - Kak Vy pozhivaete
Well - Khorosho
Good day - Dobryy den
Good evening - Dobryy vecher
Good bye - Do svidaniya

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