Holidays are very pleasant days because these are days when people don’t have to work, but have the opportunity to relax, meet friends, say many pleasant words and give presents to one another and everybody is in a cheerful and merry mood.
The major Russian holidays are: New Year’s Day, Christmas, Women’s Day, Easter, Victory Day, the Day of Sovereignty of Russia.
New Year’s Day
My favourite holiday is New Year’s Day. I think it is the most cheerful holiday of all. Some days before New Year we decorate a New Year Tree and send New Year e-cards to our friends and relatives. There are a lot of fairy lights in the streets, trees and buildings and everything looks magic! Schoolchildren have the New Year parties at school. I always stay at home with my family on New Year’s Eve. We lay a festive table and at midnight with the last stroke of the clock everybody raises a glass of champagne to see the New Year in. The President of Russia makes a speech on TV. He wishes happiness, health and prosperity (all the best) to the nation. Then we give presents to all members of the family. Kids believe that presents are sent by Father Frost and Snow Maiden. On New Year’s Eve lots of young people go to the night clubs where they sing, dance and have fun until dawn. I can’t imagine the New Year’s celebration without “Olivie” salad and tangerines. It is also a custom to light fireworks, fly Chinese lanterns and sing songs around a beautifully decorated New Year Tree. Last year some of my friends from Moscow enjoyed watching New Year’s Eve fireworks from the river cruise ship Also, I’m very happy that after New Year’s Day I have long winter holidays.
Christmas and Easter
Recently new national holidays – Christmas and Easter have been introduced. They are both religious holidays. Now they are officially marked throughout our country. In Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January. Easter is the most important holiday for the Orthodox Christians. These holidays have become the days of family reunion and happiness.
On the 8th of March we celebrate Women’s Day. It’s a nice spring holiday when men give flowers and presents to their wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters and mothers. Some men try to do all the domestic work about the house and in the kitchen on this day. Most families go out to have a nice meal at the restaurant.
But without any doubt, the most memorable date is Victory Day which is celebrated on the 9th of May to commemorate the victory of the Russian troops over the Nazi invaders in Great Patriotic War. On that day the veterans meet in the parks and squares of the cities to recollect the days of the war and exchange greetings. Wartime music is played everywhere. People lay flowers at the tombs of the soldiers who died in the war. Festive salute in the evening has become the culmination of the celebrations throughout the country.
Red Square in Moscow is usually the traditional place for a military parade on this day. The celebration starts at 10 a.m. As a rule, the column of veterans opens the parade.
During War our people fought heroically. The fascists were defeated near Moscow and Leningrad, near Tula and in Volgograd. The enemies suffered heavy losses at the walls of Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol, Kerch, Novorossiysk. That’s why all these cities were named Hero Cities. I’m very proud that our regional centre, Belgorod, was named the town of the first salute.
In the centre of our village there is an Alley of Glory. Here you can see the monuments of Heroes of the Soviet Union who were born in Volokonovka district. Among them are Vetchinkin K. F., Bondarenko A. D., Kalinin N. N., Petrashov I. P., Lazarenko I. S., Novikov E. V.
The Day of Sovereignty of Russia (or Independence Day) is celebrated on the 12th of June. It is one of the youngest public holidays in Russia. It was established in 1992. Most major cities of the country organize large celebrations in parks and squares. Undoubtedly Moscow is the best place to celebrate this holiday. You can watch a huge performance of famous musicians in Red Square. The weather is quite warm at this time of year that’s why there are crowds of people with kids strolling along the streets and taking part in sports activities, dancing and singing. In different cities, towns and villages lots of teenagers, wearing T-shirts of white, blue and red colours, form a tricolor, the National Flag of Russia.
At present this holiday is also used for giving state awards to prominent Russian personalities who made a significant contribution into the development of scientific and cultural life of the country.
A culminating holiday event is a colourful evening firework which is similar to Victory Day salute.
What is your favourite holiday?
How do you usually celebrate it?
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