New Year in Russia

New Year is one of the most favourite holidays in Russia. First of all it is a family holiday, which means that people have an opportunity to gather and exchange the news, to speak about the latest events, to share their joy with the relatives. New Year is a time for giving and getting presents.

All the attributes of New Year are actually Christmas ones, as it was forbidden to celebrate the holiday in the Soviet Union. So New Year has acquired greater importance in Russia than Christmas, while it is just the other way round in the whole world.

I don’t think there are any people in our country who are absolutely indifferent to New Year. Of course, some may put on masks and say they don’t see any difference between the first of January and the first of March, but there is really something special about New Year. People connect this holiday with the beginning of new life, with hopes and changes for the best in the future. Everyone believes and wishes others good luck, happiness and joy in the coming year. Maybe this optimistic approach helps our people overcome difficulties in their life.

Most of little kids write letters to Grandfather Frost and ask him not only for presents but for more important things, such as health for the family. They start getting prepared for the holiday at the beginning of December, and sometimes it is really surprising to see a Christmas tree set up long before the 1st of January.

One really begins to feel the festive atmosphere in the middle of December, when all the shops and the streets are filled with symbols of New Year: you can find any toys, tinsel and Christmas tree lights. The souvenirs are usually connected with the symbol of the coming year according to the Chinese calendar. As for me, I don’t take it seriously and even don’t like it.

I have never been able to understand why people seem to get insatiable at the very end of December: all the supermarkets, especially food stores are crowded. People buy so much food just for a few days as if it were their last ones. The motto seems to be like this: ‘Eat or die!’ It may seem funny, but it is really dangerous for health. Excessive consumption of alcohol and food leads to grave consequences. I (and none of my family) never eat too much on this day.

Choosing presents today is a hard task, because everyone seems to have everything he needs. It was much simpler to choose something ten years ago than now. People are hooked on electronics and household appliances, and when you come into the supermarket, you understand that there is a wide choice of it, but there is nothing to buy. I like to give unusual presents, but it really takes a lot of time to find something worthy today.

And the last thing. I never watch TV at New Year. It is so stupid to see the same faces, which try to produce some obviously false impression on the viewers. And what about you?

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