“Happy New Year! Happy New Year!” – many people remember this phrase from the famous song. Actually New Year is a universal feast, celebrated in all the countries despite their religions. For Christians New Year is also associated with Christmas. In European countries Christmas is the most appreciated feast, people decorate their houses inside and outside. Festive atmosphere is felt everywhere.
In most European countries children believe that miracles happen and they look forward to presents from Father Christmas on morning of the 25-th of December. People spend these days making presents for each other and preparing festive table, it is hard to find working shops on the Eve of Christmas. New Year is accepted as a sequence of Christmas days, Europeans prefer to spend it with friends or on the crowded squares waiting for a chime of bells. In the USA the way of celebrating these holidays is similar to European traditions.
Americans decorate fir trees with toys, stars and angels, in some states they decorate even palm trees due to lack of fir-trees. Christmas is considered as a family feast and turkey is a popular dish on the festive table. Children put cookery under the Christmas tree for Santa Claus who brings presents which they open in the morning.
New Year is a public holiday and more popular among youth.In Russia New Year is more popular than Christmas. It’s surprising but wide celebration of New Year was introduced during Soviet period, the idea was substitution of tradition to celebrate Christmas because of the atheistic ideology in USSR.
Russian children decorate New Year tree and wait for Father Frost who brings presents in the big bag. Christmas is celebrated on 7-th of January. Differences in dates of Orthodox and Catholic Christmas are connected with different calendar styles (Julian versus Gregorian). Nowadays Russians visit church services on Christmas day.
New Year and Christmas are well-liked holidays in the great part of the world. People have different traditions, but exhilaration and expectance of something magic and wonderful will be common for all of them.