Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his holiday wishes for peace and prosperity “to our friends, the Greek people” in a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday.
Putin noted the special successful start to the Year of Russia-Greece History, under the auspices of the two leaders, and noted the symbolism that several of the events include celebrating the centennial of the Greek Revolution, to which Russia contributed.
In his letter, the Russian leader also noted his meeting with Mitsotakis in Sochi this month and said it confirmed the good opportunities of expanding the mutually beneficial collaboration of the two countries.
Christmas in Russia is most widely celebrated on January 7. This is because the Russian Orthodox Church adheres to the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. Preceding the Russian Orthodox Christmas, New Year’s Day is on January 1 and is often considered the more important holiday.
It is also not uncommon for Russians to observe two Christmases and even two New Year’s celebrations; the first Christmas is observed on December 25, and the second New Year’s is observed on January 14. Any public trees—like the Christmas tree in Moscow’s Red Square—serve as a symbol of the New Year.