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Why Russia's New Year's Celebrations Are Simply The Best

Joseph Stalin invented "New Year's Day," still celebrated as Russia's biggest holiday. Nearly half of 140 million Russians are also celebrating the "Old New Year" on January 13. What makes the Russian New Year the best in the world?

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1. Julius Caesar's Old New Year

Via Cleopatra (20th Century Fox: 1963)

Nearly half of Russians are planning to raise a glass to the Old New Year on January 13. It's a legacy of the Julian calendar, used before 1917 and still employed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

8. Ded Moroz and his greetings

Life Поздравляем наших друзей из НАТО с Новым годом!)

Dmitry Rogozin

@Rogozin

Life Поздравляем наших друзей из НАТО с Новым годом!)

/ Via

Vice Premier Dmitry Rogozin tweets a postcard to his NATO friends, who should spot Ded Moroz and Snegurochka immediately.

9. Herring under fur

Самая большая "селедка под шубой" - 7 метров и 305 кг #Калининград #НовыйГод #Еда

Голос России

@ruvr_ru

Самая большая "селедка под шубой" - 7 метров и 305 кг #Калининград #НовыйГод #Еда

/ Via

A 305-kilo version of dressed herring was made this year in Kaliningrad. The world's best salad tastes even better on January 2.

10. Great movies all day

media.giphy.com

What football is to Thanksgiving in the U.S., great cinema is to the Russian New Year. The Irony of Fate is the most-watched holiday tale, which begins when four friends get wasted at a public bath house and send a wrong comrade to Saint Petersburg.

11. Terrible music all night

Via Philipp Kirkorov

In addition to the movies, the New Year's feast is usually set to the tunes from one of many pre-recorded concerts featuring stars of Russia's music industry. (It's really awful.)

12. The President's address at 11.55

Via Vladimir Putin's 2013 speech

Vladimir Putin's annual New Year's address to the nation has already been recorded. Russia has nine time zones, meaning that while Moscovites are prepping the dinner table on the 31st, their fellow citizens in Siberia are celebrating the New Year.

13. The outdoors

angkot.ru / Via angkot.ru

After toasting the New Year, many Russians head to town squares to watch fireworks and hang out with their friends. The colder it is, the better. And snow sparkles like nowhere else in the world.

14. A week of holidays after New Year's Day

media.giphy.com

New Year holidays last from Jan 1 through Jan 8 in Russia. A week to remember, a week to forget. No other culture kick-starts its year like the Russians.

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