One of the oldest of all Russian traditions is the singing of kolyodki, Russian Christmas carols. The custom dates back to medieval times and ever since then, young and old alike bundle up against the cold and stroll through the streets of Moscow singing the kolyodki. Christmas trees were popular in Russia during the 1800’s. Also, a tradition, special prayers are said and people fast – sometime for 39 days, until the Russian Christmas Eve, which is January 6, when the first evening star appears in the sky. To break their fast, Russians sit down to a 12-course supper in honor of each of the twelve apostles. The feast includes fish, cabbage stuffed with millet, cooked dried fruit and borscht (Beet Soup). Tree decorations include apples, tangerines and little dolls. Accompanying the Russian Santa is one of Russian’s brown bears.
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