December 28, 2015

How to Celebrate the New Year

How to Celebrate the New Year

Now that Christmas is past, are you still looking to extend that holiday spirit a little bit longer? Then why not celebrate New Year’s the Russian way! We’ve gathered some tips to make your celebration as authentic as possible.

It’s common knowledge in Russia that the way you meet the New Year is how you’re going to spend it. So it comes as no surprise that Russians put a lot of thought into how they’re going celebrate the biggest holiday of the year. Add to that a healthy dose of Chinese zodiac influences, and you’ve got yourself the foundation for a whole range of sometimes contradictory tips and suggestions.

What Year Is It?

This isn’t a trick question! Of course it’s going to be 2016, but more importantly, it’s the year of the Fire Monkey. When preparing for your New Year’s celebration, it’s crucial to not just have a good time and please your guests, but to also please the animal of the year. This year’s animal is capricious, easily distracted, in love with money, fruits, candy, and other shiny things. As one website puts it, “modesty is not one of the monkey’s strong suits,” so feel free to put little monkeys all over your house (and then try to ignore their little eyes watching you all evening).

To really get into the adventurous spirit of the year, another website suggests doing something really out of the ordinary: a masquerade, or a “quest on the city streets,” or a crazy party, or a light show, or a rock concert. Even better, why don’t you go abroad – that’ll be especially memorable! But then it concedes that probably many of their readers want to spend the evening at home with their families. Those people will just have to please the monkey some other way.

Shiny New Year tree
Now that's an appropriately shiny tree

What Should You Eat?

Being a tropical animal, the monkey demands exotic fruits: bananas, pineapples, oranges. Good luck getting your hands on them out of season! As a herbivore, the monkey would prefer vegetarian dishes, although perhaps the fruit will appease it and it’ll turn a blind eye to traditional dishes like Olivier salad, cold cuts, pâtés, and the like.

What Should You Wear?

What did we say about the monkey loving shiny things? Make yourself shiny! And this year’s monkey isn’t just a monkey, it’s a Fire Monkey, so it has twice the reason to love sparkles and bright colors. That being said, each website’s interpretation of “bright colors” is slightly different. Red, orange, yellow are obvious favorites, but why will lilac and purple be popular this year, as one website asserts? No one knows! At least all the advice-givers agree that the little black dress should stay in the closet this year.

Toasting to the New Year

What Should You Do?

But in the end, even with all this advice, with its roots in a questionable interpretation of the Chinese zodiac, perhaps you’re better off celebrating New Year’s the traditional way: get your friends and family together, whip up some of your favorite dishes, and toast some champagne to next year being even better than the last. Whatever you do, make sure to have a happy New Year!

Tip sources: [Online-z] [missbagira] [vedmochka]

Image sources:, Wikimedia Commons,

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