In the evening on December 24 Christians in Western Europe and America celebrate their main religious holiday, Christmas. It is celebrated even in Russia, as the country has followers of Catholic, Protestant and Anglican churches.
The Orthodox Christmas is celebrated later, on January 7th. However, many Russians prefer to celebrate the holiday twice. Moreover, you can hear Merry Christmas wishes not only in the country's Christian centers, but also in towns inhabited by Muslims or even Buddhists.
All this has a good explanation. As Russia takes up almost one seventh of the planet's land, it borders on all of the world's main civilizations. Consequently, foreign holidays are often taken as own.
This has drawn certain observers to a conclusion that Russians are an enduring nation. They begin celebrating Christmas holidays with Western Europe and America, then move on to celebrate the New Year which gradually goes into the Orthodox Christmas. That is, the feast can go on from December 24th till January 7th.
According to the information from sociologists of the All-Russian Opinion Research Center as of morning December 24th, 18 per cent of Russians, that is, one fifth of the country's population are going to celebrate "Western" Christmas this year.
However, the survey shows that three fourths of Russians intend to celebrate Christmas only on January 7th. 50 per cent of respondents do not want the Orthodox Church to introduce a common calendar with other churches and are against celebrating church holidays together with the West. 32 per cent of Russian citizens approved of the idea and 18 per cent could not say what they thought about it.
Nikolai Zherebtsov, RIAN
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