Unlike many countries who celebrate Christmas on December 25th, Pridnestrovie/Transnistria celebrates Christmas on January 7th. Other Orthodox countries who celebrate Christmas in January include Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro. This is due to the use of the ancient Julian Calendar, which has a difference of 13 days with the Gregorian Calendar used by most other countries. Note that the Julian Calendar in these countries is used only for religious celebrations, daily life is organized according to the same calendar as the rest of the world.
Ok, so what is happening on December 25th?
Literally nothing. It is a working day, people go to work, children to school, just regular life.
What about New Year then?
New Year is on January 1st like in the rest of the world. So yes, we celebrate New Year BEFORE Christmas. Some people also celebrate the ‘old’ New Year after Christmas, but it’s more like an additional reason to party with family and friends (Pridnestrovians love to share a good meal and drink together as often as possible).
Actually, New Year (on the 1st of January) tends to be much more important than Christmas, it is the main celebration and the time you exchange gifts.
What can I do on New Year in Pridnestrovie by the way?
If you don’t know any locals/are not invited to someone’s party, the best thing to do is likely to book a table in a restaurant. Most of them will have a special programme with music, some shows, surprises and a special menu. People tend to be very friendly and you might quickly bond with the guests at the next tables. But make sure to book your table in advance. At least a month, if possible much more. This is very popular and all restaurants tend to be fully booked by the end of November.
Happy Winter Break everyone!