With yule observances up, New Year's still rules the roost

For most Russians, New Year's is more important than Christmas, according to a national sampling (1,500 individuals) done on January 10 by Public Opinion. The poll also found that 64% of Russians celebrated Orthodox Christmas this year (49% in 1999, 57% in 2001). However, Christmas is still largely celebrated here as a secular rather than religious holiday: only 3%-4% of Russians attended Christmas night services, while 34% to 37% of Russians watched the televised services.

Russia's main holiday of the year continues to be New Year's (95% celebrate). In addition, 68% of Russians rate New Year's as more important than Christmas, with only 18% of those surveyed holding the opposite view.

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