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Russian Dating – a Guide to Important Holidays


As any man who has been in a committed relationship can tell you, right up there with leaving the toilet seat up and calling the woman you are with by a different name on the list of deadly dating sins is forgetting those all important dates in a relationship, like birthdays and anniversaries. These days, of course, it is easy to program these crucial dates into the calendar on your computer, PDA, or cell phone which gives us guys a fighting chance, but no matter how careful we try to be … well, accidents happen. There is no avoiding it – it’s just how we are wired.

With the advent of international internet dating – and particularly the explosion in popularity of sites catering specifically to dating Russian women – an entirely new set of challenges are presented to the memory-challenged male who is more than happy to do the right thing if only he could remember when he was supposed to do it. Yes, you guessed it – in the states of the former USSR Republic where our lovely lady loves reside, holidays that you have probably never heard of are some of the most important on the calendar, and holidays that you have heard of aren’t where you expect them to be. So fire up your calendars, PDA’s and cell phones, and start setting those reminders!

•Christmas – While in the Western world Christmas is the time for peace on earth, jingle bells, and gift giving every 25th of December; in the states of the former Soviet Union, the holiday is actually celebrated on January 7th. During the days of communist rule, Christmas was officially abolished, although many people observed it in secret. Unlike Christmas celebrations in the West, Christmas in Russia is a time of gathering with friends, dancing and general partying – with limited if any “gift giving”. Christmas in Russia is more or less the equivalent of New Years Day (or eve) in the West.

•The New Year – This is, without a doubt, the biggest holiday on the Russian calendar, and probably in your lovely Russian lady’s heart as well. Roughly the equivalent to the Western Christmas (at least in terms of the celebration) this is the time for gift giving. There are two New Years in Russia – January 1st and January 14th – although for our purposes the 1st is the one to remember. On New Year’s Eve, Father Frost and his granddaughter Snow Maiden arrive in the middle of the night to leave presents under fir trees, and on New Year’s Day gifts are exchanged between friends and family members. Interestingly, the New Year celebrations continue all the way through to January 8th, the day after Russian Christmas. In many parts of the region, the entire period between December 31st and January 8th are official days off. If you are looking to impress or dazzle your Russian lady with a special gift, this is the time to do it.

•Valentine’s Day – Though a recent import from the West, Valentine’s Day (or the Holiday of Lovers) has grown in popularity in the last two decades across the former Soviet Union, and is celebrated on February 14th. As in the West, flowers and/or chocolates are the favored gifts, and cards are a must. Most reputable Russian dating sites will be able to provide you with a list of approved florists throughout the region.

•Victory Day – Though not a day of gift giving, Victory Day is an important holiday to the people of the former Soviet Union, celebrating their victory over Nazi Germany (the brown plague) and honoring the tens of millions who died in that struggle. Celebrated on May 9th, it is both a day of celebration and somber reflection; a card or email to your special Russian lady is appropriate, and will be greatly appreciated.

•Birthdays and Anniversaries – Though obviously these particular dates will be unique to the individual or couple, celebrating anniversaries and birthdays is very important in Russian culture. Just as in Western culture, you can find yourself in varying degrees of hot water by forgetting either of these two events where your Russian lady is concerned. Gifts are appropriate for both occasions, however in some parts of the former Soviet Union (the Ukraine, for example) this is much more of “it’s the thought that counts” type of proposition and, depending on the length and intensity of the relationship, flowers or chocolates should get the job done. Larger, more expensive gifts are usually reserved for the New Year’s Day celebrations but, as anywhere else in the world, no young lady in Russia is going to turn down a great gift on her birthday!

In many cases, the online Russian dating service that you use can prove invaluable in helping you get the appropriate cards and gifts to the women that you meet through their site. Particularly if the site has contacts with legitimate retail businesses operating in the former Soviet Union, they may be able to advise you on appropriate gifts in all price ranges, as well as facilitate secure and guaranteed transactions.

Contrary to the stereotypes many Westerners grew up with during the decades of the Cold War, Russians are a fun people, and love to celebrate, party, and have fun with their friends and loved ones. A warm and passionate people, in most cases it isn’t necessary to spend exorbitant amounts of money on gifts to touch the heart of your special Russian lady. Taking the time and making the effort to understand what holidays are important to her will show her that you take her culture and beliefs seriously, and will provide another layer to your relationship. For the early part of any relationship, communication is key. A simple remembrance sent via email, or perhaps splurging on a longer online chat will add a special note of thoughtfulness to your early dating process as you get acquainted over the holidays.

tim zelmer is the public relations manager for http://www.dream-marriage.com, one of the largest marriage and dating services for men seeking relationships with russian women on the internet. dream-marriage.com has developed innovative security and verification strategies to ensure that their site maintains 100% anti-scam activity. the company has offices in the usa, russia, ukraine, and other former ussr republics, and currently has over 120 partners throughout the former ussr.

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Listed: November 9, 2009 12:03 am