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Time-honored Orthodox Christmas customs: carolling and fortune telling

January 09, 15:28 UTC+3

Russia celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas

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Local residents dressed in costumes take part in traditional Christmas carolling (known as Kolyada) in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
Local residents dressed in costumes take part in traditional Christmas carolling (known as Kolyada) in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
Local residents dressed in costumes take part in traditional Christmas carolling (known as Kolyada) in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
A local resident dressed in a goat costume in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
A local resident dressed in a goat costume in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
A local resident dressed in a goat costume in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
Uzorochye Theatre actors sing Christmas Carols while sliding down a tubing slope in Ryazan, Russia
Uzorochye Theatre actors sing Christmas Carols while sliding down a tubing slope in Ryazan, Russia
Uzorochye Theatre actors sing Christmas Carols while sliding down a tubing slope in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
People singing Christmas carols in Ryazan, Russia
People singing Christmas carols in Ryazan, Russia
People singing Christmas carols in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Naumovo, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Naumovo, Russia
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Naumovo, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
People participate in Christmas carolling  in the village of Storozhovtsy, Belarus
People participate in Christmas carolling  in the village of Storozhovtsy, Belarus
People participate in Christmas carolling in the village of Storozhovtsy, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
People dressed in costumes participate in Koniki carolling rite that emerged more than 100 years ago in Brest region, Belarus
People dressed in costumes participate in Koniki carolling rite that emerged more than 100 years ago in Brest region, Belarus
People dressed in costumes participate in Koniki carolling rite that emerged more than 100 years ago in Brest region, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
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Local residents dressed in costumes take part in traditional Christmas carolling (known as Kolyada) in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
A local resident dressed in a goat costume in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Ivanova Sloboda, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
Uzorochye Theatre actors sing Christmas Carols while sliding down a tubing slope in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
People singing Christmas carols in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in Ryazan, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Traditional Christmas carolling in the village of Naumovo, Russia
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS
People participate in Christmas carolling in the village of Storozhovtsy, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS
People dressed in costumes participate in Koniki carolling rite that emerged more than 100 years ago in Brest region, Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS

Russia celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas (Svyatki) from January 7 (Orthodox Christmas) to January 19 (Epiphany). In Russia, traditions and religion are combined. And these festive days filled with ancient rites and traditions. For example, one of the main traditions is guising. Guisers walk from house to house of friends or acquaintances singing Christmas carols in their honor and asking for a treat. Eastern Slavs also consider Christmas and Epiphany eves to be the best time for fortune-telling.

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