Religious Holidays

Religious holidays are especially important in countries with a prevailingly dominant religion. Most SRAS countries fit this description: Russia and Ukraine are 71% and 67% Orthodox, respectively; Kyrgyzstan is 83% Muslim; and Poland is an astonishing 93% Catholic. Religious holidays, therefore, are often recognized by the state and given as days off and they play a large role in defining the country’s calendar and identity. In most countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, these holidays are observed as purely religious. Santa Claus figures are largely relegated to holidays other than Christmas and the Easter Bunny is almost entirely absent. Minority holidays celebrated by smaller percentages of the population are also presented below.

Russian MiniLesson: Funeral Lunches and Related Russian Vocabulary

The following was written by Caroline Barrow, a former SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar now working in Kazakhstan. Through an acquaintance there, she was invited to a traditional Russian funeral lunch – and shares her experience here. Each culture has its own way of honoring those who have left this world. Russians do this in […]

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