Russian Traditions for Christmas

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Celebrate the season with these Russian traditions for Christmas. You will find a variety of sweet and savory dishes often served for Russian Orthodox Christmas. 

Collection of Russian Christmas recipes

When is the Russian Christmas?

Russian Christmas falls on January 7th each year because the Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar when it comes to religious celebrations. The December 25th Christmas follows the current Gregorian calendar, but both celebrations involve church, family, and lots of delicious food.

In Russiarelatives gather together to celebrate the holiday, whether it’s on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day.  The celebration continues into New Year’s eve where Grandfather Frost (or Ded Moroz) gives gifts to children (as opposed to Santa Claus). Ded Moroz is accompanied by his granddaughterSnegurochka, a snow maiden.

The celebration is always centered around the Russian Orthodox Church and includes many prayers and blessings, including the Lord’s prayer and the prayer of Thanksgiving.  The table is laid with a white tablecloth to symbolize the swaddled baby Jesus.  The food that is served is equally as important and everything has meaning. The holy supper usually includes lenten breadsoup and Vzvar, which is served at the end of the meal. 

Want to know what Russians eat for Christmas? This collection of Russian traditions for Christmas are perfect for celebrating with a family dinner feast.

Mongolian pork on plate
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Savory Russian Recipes

Meat is a main component in many traditional Russian recipes, making for a variety of savory flavors. However, there are plenty of meatless options as well.

Collection of savory Russian Christmas recipes
  1. Golubtsi (Russian Cabbage Rolls): An easy comfort food.
  2. Russian Beet Salad: Healthy, simple, and delicious!
  3. Russian Vinaigrette Salad: A year-round classic.
  4. Shashlik (Russian Pork Kebabs): A tender, juicy, traditional favorite.
  5. Blini (Russian Chicken and Mushroom Crepes): Perfect for mushroom lovers..
  6. Blini (another version): Featuring sweet or savory options.
  7. Bulochki (Russian Yeast Rolls): Light and fluffy.
  8. Piroshki (Meat filled Russian pastries): Stuffed with comforting flavor!
  9. Tefteli (Russian Meatballs): Soft and juicy.
  10. Pelmeni (Russian Meat Dumplings): Kids will love shaping the dough!
  11. Russian Cabbage Pie: Simple and scrumptious.
  12. Russian Potato Salad: Easily customized to your taste.
  13. Classic Borscht: Iconic beet soup
  14. Kvashenaya KapustaHomemade sauerkraut

Russian Desserts Recipes

What is Christmas without sweets? These Russian desserts recipes feature many delicious treats.

Collection of sweet Russian Christmas recipes
  1. Kolach (Ukranian Christmas Bread): Moderately rich and sweet.
  2. Rogaliki (Russian Rugelach): Comforting cookies.
  3. Gribochky (Russian Mushroom Cookies): They look adorable!
  4. Pyraniki (Russian Spice Cookies): Cinnamon Christmas cookies that pair perfectly with tea.
  5. Russian Brined Apples: An age old tradition with honey and flour.
  6. Korolevsky (Russian King Cake): Soft and moist.
  7. Kiev Cake: Guaranteed to please.
  8. Smetannik Cake: Deliciously simple.
  9. Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake): Quick and easy.
  10. Poppy Seed Roll: Flavored with the best lemon and orange zest!
  11. Pampushky (Ukrainian Christmas Doughnuts): Just the right amount of flaky.
  12. Syrniki (Russian Cheese Pancakes): A tasty breakfast treat.
  13. Kutya (or Kutia): Sweetened grains or porridge with honey.

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3 thoughts on “Russian Traditions for Christmas”

  1. Thank you for sharing these recipes! My second grader is doing a class project of Christmas around the world and they are supposed to bring in a food item that is eaten at Christmas for their country. Again, thank you for sharing.

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