Well 2010 was an exciting year for me. I started my English teaching career successfully, visited 5 new countries, broke my NYC Cherrie, and boarded 15 international flights, along side some domestic planes and trains. I have learned a new alphabet and a few phrases from the crazy Russian language that has become part of my day to day life. I also call one of the worlds largest cities my home- Moscow.
Having moved to Russia for the year I wanted make sure I celebrated New Year in a Traditional way. My Students filled me in on all the tricks of the trade.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS: To start I dressed as a Rabbit- this is the animal of the Chinese Zodiac for 2011 (also used in Russia) and it is part of the tradition to dress as this animal.
SWALLOW ASHES: At the stroke of 12 you must yell Happy New Year, then write your wish for the year on a piece of paper, burn it, and drink the ashes in Champagne.
EAT FRENCH SALAD: Somewhere along the line a salad called ‘Salad Olivier’ a mix potatoes, mayo, and other vegetables, and ham or other meat became a Russian New Year tradition. The salad was actually invented in Russia by the chef of the Hermitage Restaurant named Lucien Olivier, a Russian of Belgian origin. Luckily I got to sample the tasty salad made by both Russian and Expat friends.
OPEN YOUR DOORS: This one you must wait for until ‘Old New Year’ on January 13th when Russia used to celebrate the New Year. On this you are supposed to open your door at midnight and invite in the New Year.
Other than the fun traditions I had the pleasure of a 10-day vacation from work to welcome in the New Year through relaxation and exploration. Thank you to all the people and places that have made 2010 so great, and to those who will make 2011 even greater!
с Новым годом!