The Corner

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Christmas Confusion in Moscow


Anne Applebaum from Russia: “The celebration of Western Christmas on Dec. 25 is a phenomenon purely of the most recent, post-Soviet decade. This week, a poll showed that 18 percent of Russians intend to celebrate on Dec. 25 (which remains a working day). Those who do so are, among other things, more likely to be well-off, more likely to be under the age of 25, and more likely to live in large cities. Some are Catholics — there are about 500,000 in Russia — but most are part of a new generation of Russians who identify themselves with the West and wish to celebrate in a Western way. Even among such people, there remains a good deal of confusion about what Christmas is actually about. One Russian friend explained with great confidence that ‘Christmas is the day Jesus was crucified.’”