Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
In Soviet Russia a post likes you.
A Russian preparing for a game of CS:GO
#1 Celebration of the Victory Day
This is the most important date in the Russian calendar: the 9th of May. Every single road in the center of Moscow gets blocked, so the tanks and other military vehicles can reach the Red Square for the Parade. Then the military personnel join in, as well as fighter aircrafts. People either go out on the streets or watch the Parade on TV in real time streaming.
The Victory Day Military Parade
At least 26 million Soviets died during the war (including both military and civilians), which is around 26 times more than the losses borne by the UK and US together. In every single Russian family there was someone who participated in the war… And in my family also. This is why Russians still do feel sensitive about sharing the ‘winner’s place’, even though there is no doubt that our Allies had a tremendous input without which we would lose. I would also like to give a separate warm tribute to our Great Ally China, who lost a minimum of 15 million people.
I personally believe that it was a Victory of unity and no individual country could win the war on her own. But you know… 26 million people.
Warning: Under no circumstances discuss this topic with your Russian friends.
#2 Celebration of the New Year’s
This is the second most important day in Russia. Honestly, no other country celebrates it as much as we do. I witnessed celebrations outside Russia and they all made me feel kind of disappointed. Usually people in other countries just launch some fireworks at midnight and go home, which always leaves me thinking to myself: ‘shit, that was all?’
You can guess what this is
Well, you see, in the Mother Russia, this is only the beginning. But let me tell you everything from the start. Firstly, it is very important for all the comrades to gather together (with some vodka, of course). Then it is equally as important to switch on your TV and watch some Soviet films (that are being run by the state channels) such as ‘Ivan Vasilevitch Switches Jobs’ and ‘The Irony of the Fate’. Yeah, those are real titles. Those films are being played every single 31 of January and it has always been a thing for as long as I can remember myself.
The food is very important also
(before Russians go out on the street to fight someone, their mums make sure they have eaten well).
Here are the essential items:
Seledka pod shuboi
The last ritual is a mandatory one (in a good way). We all have to listen to our president giving a speech. I mean everyone is sick of our government and the speech itself carries very little useful information, but somehow it still brings some feeling of unity. It’s weird.
And then people keep celebrating till the first rays of the sun.
#3 Having a house outside the city (‘Dacha’)
This is considered to be a very posh thing especially in Moscow. People usually go there during weekends or holidays since it is a way to nicely spend time within the family. This is also a great opportunity to grow some vegetables or fruits in your garden. I mean usually kids end up being used as a free workforce out there in the garden, but it’s normal.
Meanwhile, you might probably ask me: ‘Why would you crazy people even bother planting this shit and make the poor kids do the rest?’
Well, you see, first of all, it is of a strategic importance: while your kids grow food they have no time to complain about not having internet. Second reason is more of a cultural reason. Older generations still remember the Soviet times when they could rarely buy anything on the markets, so they had to grow their own. And hence the importance of ‘teaching’ the younger generation of how to survive the tough times.
#4 Celebration of ‘Maslenitsa’
This is a traditional Slavic celebration the purpose of which is to welcome spring. Usually we burn a scarecrow (that represents winter) and at the same time drink a lot of tea and eat pancakes (that are called ‘bliny’).
The kids usually go play silly games like snowball wars or ‘the kind of the mountain’ (you have to climb a tall pile of snow and stay there for as long as you can before other kids kick you off of there).
#5 Owning a bag of bags
This is the last, yet still an important tradition. Every Russian family has that. Usually we collect the plastic bags from the stores and later use them as bags for trash. But here is the deal: How do we store them? That is right. In another plastic bag. Simple.
That was my list for today, but I intend adding more stuff on Russian culture and language!
Stay approved, comrades