Flower Sending Suggestions
Articles containing suggestions to send flowers to Russia, Ukraine and CIS for various occasions. Also contains useful information about Russian cultural differences in choosing flowers or gifts for loved one sore relative in Russia.
We’re hoping you receive
Delightful gifts to make you smile,
With family and friends
To love you all the while.
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
May your Christmas dreams come true,
And when Christmas is over,
Happy New Year, too!
Tomorrow, on December 25 in most of the countries people celebrate Christmas. No doubt, many of you have a lot of friends, beloved ones, acquintances, overseas and have definitely thought about wishing them merry Christmas in their own language…
To make your lives easier, we’ve decided to make up a list where you can find how ‘Merry Christmas’ is said in the most popular languages.
If you also want to send a gift basket for Christmas to your nearest and dearest to another country you can visit our website http://www.russianflora.com, where you can find plenty of holiday gift ideas.
Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees
Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Brazilian: Feliz Natal
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Estonian: Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
French: Joyeux Noel
German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
Hebrew: Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latvian: Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit
Russian: S Rozhdestvom
Serbian: Hristos se rodi
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM
Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh
Christmas in Ukraine is similar to the Christmas in Russia and it’s the most important family holiday of the whole year. It is celebrated solemnly, as well as merrily, according to ancient customs that have come down through the ages and are still observed today. Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar as in most of other Orthodox Christian countries.
The season of Christmas begins with advent (Pylypivka)-four weeks of fasting and preparing one’s self for the birth of Christ. In preparation for Christmas, the house is cleaned from top to bottom and the Christmas tree decorated with various knick-knackery and sweets is installed. A sheaf of wheat (didukh) is saved from the harvest. The didukh represents the family: the living, the dead and those unborn. Before Christmas Eve, the sheaf is decorated with ribbons, flowers and a small wreath of basil. It is put under an icon in a corner of the room on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Eve in Ukraine is called ‘Sviata Vecheria’ (Holy Supper). Dinner table has a little hay on embroidered tablecloths to symbolize the manger of Bethlehem where Christ was born. Children announce the appearance of the first Star in the eastern evening sky and dinner is begun. The star symbolizes the trek of the Three Wise Men. People usually cook some tasty foods for this evening. There should be at least 12 different foods on the table. Those should mandatory include ‘Kutia’ — the ritual food which is prepared from cooked wheat and special syrup containing diluted honey, grated poppy seeds, raisins and sometimes walnuts.
At the end of the Holy Supper the family often sings Kolyadky, Ukrainian Christmas Carols. In many communities the old Ukrainian tradition of caroling is carried on by groups of young people and members of organizations and churches calling at homes and collecting donations, also little gifts, fruit, sweets . Church services start before midnight on Christmas Eve and continue until Christmas mornings.
In the past, ‘Did Moroz’ (Father Frost) used to bring children Christmas gifts to Ukraine on 19th of December but now the date has been changed to the Christmas date. Did Moroz rides a sleigh to which only three reindeers are harnessed. Snowflake Girl helps Father Frost in his journey. She wears silver blue costume trimmed with white fur and a snowflake-like crown.
In the days of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not celebrated very much. The New Year’s time was much more important. With the fall of Communism, Christmas finally regained its lost glory and was declared a national holiday in the country. Since then, it is openly celebrated on January 7th. The date is different from the rest of the world because the Russian Orthodox church uses the old ‘Julian’ calendar for religious celebration days. The Orthodox Church also celebrates Advent. But it has fixed dates, starting on 28th November and going to the 6th January. Russians fast during these 6 weeks, they eat only vegetarian food, no meat is allowed.
The fast, typically, lasts until after the evening worship service or until the first star appears. The dinner that follows, called “The Holy Supper”, is very much a celebration, although, meat is not permitted. The meal begins with the Lord’s Prayer, led by the father of the family. A prayer of thanksgiving for all the blessings of the past year is said and then prayers for the good things in the coming year are offered. The head of the family greets those present with the traditional Christmas greeting: “Christ is Born!”. The family members respond: “Glorify Him!”. After the dinner the family usually goes to Church, coming home between 2 and 3 am.
The most traditional Christmas food is Kutya (kutia) – a type of porridge made of wheat, honey and poppy seed. All the ingredients symbolize hope, immortality, happiness, and peace. The family members eat this special dish from a single dish reflecting love and unity for their dear ones.
On the Feast of the Nativity, neighbors and family members visit each other, going from house to house, eating, drinking, singing Carols and giving Christmas presents.
One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Russia is that groups of people (mostly kids) dress themselves as animals and wander from house to house singing special songs called kolyadki. These songs have various topics like carols sung for baby Jesus. People in return give little gifts, fruit, sweets or pay coins as appreciation for songs.
The Russian Christmas greeting is ‘S Rozhdestvom!’.
New Year in Russia is celebrated on January 1, the first day of the Gregorian Calendar, and it’s often more important than Christmas.
The most popular symbol of this holiday is a New Year’s Tree called Novogodnaya Yolka which is topped with a bright red star and decorated with various sweets. The most popularly celebrated New Year tradition is the arrival of Ded Moroz (Father Frost, Santa Claus) and his granddaughter Snegurochka (the snowgirl). They bring New Year presents for the good children and hide them under the pine tree. To acquire gifts, children must sing a song or recite a poem.
New Year’s verve can be seen by the family get-together, use of fireworks, delicious meals, etc. The most important part of the New Year activities is the sumptuous dinner with light music and champagne. The major meals include Olive salad with meat, potatoes, pickles, green peas, onion, carrots, and mayonnaise.
Russians also follow the tradition of listening to the New Year Speech from the President at 12 a.m. on 1 January. After that everybody says ‘S novym Godom!’ (Happy New Year), clink glasses with champagne, make a wish within the first few moments of the New Year, and give each other presents.
There are some other fascinating traditions followed at the time of New Year and the famous one is the tradition of fortune-telling. Many people especially women and unmarried girls are excited to know about their future indulge in this activity.
Read about Christmas in Russia in the next issue.
Flowers are no more a present suitable only for women. Nowadays, it’s quite common to give flowers to men as well. So, when we give flowers to our boss, colleague, friend or relation we shouldn’t forget some simple tips.
Many florists think that a classical ‘man’ bouquet must have an oblong form and a pale color gamut. This idea goes back to Roman Empire times when a warder, an ensign and a cresset were a necessary attribute of masculinity. In height a bouquet can be about a meter, but in width not more than 30 cm, as it accentuates the refinement and accuracy of the proportions.
Flowers with long stems ideally suit for a ‘man’ bouquet. They look austere and at the same time have interesting shape and attract attention. Typically ‘man’ flowers are gladioluses (latin ‘gladius’ – sword). But one can also give delphiniums, chrysanthemums, irises, carnations, dahlias and of course roses. Exotic flowers are also good, because they live longer and don’t need any special care. If you know a man not too well stick to the classic rules – roses with a lot of greenary. Pink roses are neutral and can be given to both men and women.
When choosing a color remember that a bouquet should be neither pale nor motley. It has been observed that men like to give bright bouquets but to receive single-colour ones. Typically men colors are red, purple, blue and all the warm colors (from yellow to orange-red). It’s better to avoid flowers of pastel shades because they look more feminine. Also pay some special attention to the wrapping, it shouldn’t be gaudy – no ruche, bows and gold paper.
If you want to give a present to a man but feel a bit awkward to give flowers, you can present him a gift basket, flower basket or a fruit basket including sweets, spirits and other items. It’s a good corporate gift for a business partner or a boss. Besides, it’s even more practical to give gift baskets, than just a bouquet as businessmen don’t usually have time to put the flowers in a vase. Thanks to a floral foam soaked with water flowers can live much longer without any special care.
Don’t feel shy to give flowers to men! And do remember that according to the research men enjoy receiving gifts just as much as women, although you may never get one of them to admit it!