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Russians celebrate New Year's Eve in a similar way that we (e.g., Australia, USA) celebrate Christmas on December 25, without the religious connotations. By tradition, the family gathers together at night to hold a feast that often stretches (the stomachs!) until 2 or 3am the next morning. Depending on availability, you might dine on turkey, vegetables, chocolate, and other good food.
Gifts are often exchanged between family and friends, and children go to sleep with the hope that Father Christmas / Santa Claus (in Russian, Grandfather Frost or "Dyed Moroz") will visit them during the night and leave presents for when they awaken.
While sitting at the New Year table it is customary to "bid farewell" to the previous year. People discuss how successful the past year was for them and hope that the coming year treats them kindly. As the clock at the Spasskaya Tower in the Moscow Kremlin strikes midnight people will raise their champagne glasses and announce a toast to the New Year, after which the festive dinner continues.
Young Russians sometimes leave the family dinner before midnight (or avoid it completely) and head to a party or take to the streets to celebrate with their friends. Red Square in Moscow is an especially lively place where Russians gather to drink, smile and wish each other a Happy New Year!
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