New Year In Russia

Anna Zamaraeva shares her tips how to spend Russian New Year and find friends during the holidays.

New Year In Russia

Sometimes, foreign and nonresident students cannot go home for holidays. This is caused by different problems, financial difficulties, plans and other reasons. However, it is usually sad when you cannot spend New Year at home.

Nevertheless, if you stay in a city where you study, it is possible to arrange a great New Year celebration. It is a good chance to find new friends, share your own culture and learn local traditions. So, what can you do?

You should make the atmosphere of the New Year in your dwelling. Do not forget about traditions of your family.

For instance, your mum always dresses up your teddy bear as Santa Claus before the New Year night. Why don't you do the same? Such pleasant trifles are really nice and cozy. They help to feel the atmosphere of your family celebration wherever you stay.

If we talk about family, it is a good idea to talk with relatives over the phone or social networks before the New Year. You can say that you miss and love them. If it is possible, you can send gifts or postcards to your family. When your parents get sad that you are not around, this surprise is a great way to cheer them up and express your emotions.

And what about celebration?  If you are a foreign student, you should use this chance. Ask your friends from the city to organize a New Year excursion for you. They can show you places which the Russians like to visit during the winter holidays or involve you into the activities they like. It can be skating in the center of the city, drinking coffee in a cozy café with New Year decorations, visiting children’s shops and buy toys even if you are not a child.

Moreover, you should ask your friends to tell you more about traditions of celebration and winter activities in Russia. You could try to use these traditions for organizing your leisure. For example, it is really fun to play snowballs, so you can play with your friends. Also, it is a great tradition to make a wish while the chimes are striking. This creates the atmosphere of magic and a kind of a fairy tale. Even skeptics could feel that!

Obviously, one of the most important and nice parts of the country’s culture is its cuisine. If we talk about New Year celebration, it does not include only national food. But there are some traditions which say what to cook. Russian people usually cook Olivier salad, Pubie Salad, dumplings with different fillings and Mimosa salad for the New Year. If you have not an allergy to some ingredients, you should taste these dishes. Also, it is really enjoyable to cook the traditional New Year food of your country and treat friends.

Another interesting thing is watching films. In Russia people usually watch old movies for the New Year. It is a good idea to watch these films with your friends in order to learn more about Russian culture and just spend a good time. For instance, you can watch “The Irony of Fate”, “The Diamond Arm”, “Sorcerers”, “Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures”, “Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future”. On the other hand, you can show New Year films of your country to your friends from Russia. The evening of watching such films is an interesting event for a company of friends!

Furthermore, you can find new friends and even friends from your country. In HSE there are a lot of students’ organizations and clubs for foreigners. You can find other students who cannot go home for holidays and spend New Year together.

Don’t worry if you cannot be at home now. New Year is the time of magic but not sadness. You can make the atmosphere of celebration. Use New Year as a way to adapt in another city or country and find new friends. Just create New Year mood and find a good company! Let yourself catch the great sense of Russian holidays and you will have a lot of nice and emotional memories. And, of course, don’t forget about making a wish just before the New Year starts!

Text by
Anna Zamaraeva