Once the old prince himself came over to invite us to a wedding. He was giving away his elder daughter and since we were kunaks there was no way to say no, of course, Tatar or not.

So we went. A pack of barking dogs met us in the village. On seeing us the women hid themselves–the faces we did catch a glimpse of were far from pretty. “I had a much better opinion of Circassian women,” Grigoriy Aleksandrovich said to me. “You wait a while,” I replied, smiling. I had something up my sleeve.

“There was quite a crowd assembled in the prince’s house. It’s the custom among those Asiatics, you know, to invite to their weddings everyone they happen to meet. We were welcomed with all the honors due to us and shown to the best room. Before going in, though, I took care to remember where they put our horses just in case, you know.”

“How do they celebrate weddings?” I asked the captain.

“Oh, in the usual way. First the mullah reads them something from the Koran, then presents are given to the newlyweds and all their relatives. They eat, and drink booza, until finally the horsemanship display begins, and there is always some kind of filthy clown dressed in rags riding a mangy lame nag playing the fool to amuse the company. Later, when it grows dark, what we would call a ball begins in the best room. Some miserable old man strums away on a three-stringed… can’t remember what they call it… something like our balalaika. The girls and young men line up in two rows facing each other, clap their hands and sing. Then one of the girls and a man step into the center and begin to chant verses to each other, improvising as they go, while the rest pick up the refrain. Pechorin and I occupied the place of honor, and as we sat there the host’s younger daughter, a girl of sixteen or so, came up to him and sang to him… what should I call it… a sort of compliment.”

“You don’t remember what she sang by any chance?”

Asian wedding with Hero in Our Time of Lermontov

Did you know that New Years is even more celebrated than Christmas in Russia? Of course, if you’re Russian you already know this. It’s on New Year’s Eve that Ded Moroz or the Russian Santa arrives to see all the children and give them their gift. In fact, to Russians a Christmas tree is really the New Years tree.

Gifts are always a big part of any holiday gathering and it is no different to Russians who live in the country or any other part of the world.

Some would say, Russians absolutely love shopping for gifts as well as making their own little handmade creations to give to all their family’s and friends.

This can become quite an undertaking, especially if you decide to give out gifts for all the celebrations. Those that live in the west might want to give out gifts on December 25, New Year’s Eve, and even the traditional Russian Christmas that is celebrated on January 7. Whatever you decide to do, you can find all the perfect gifts at Russian Foods Direct. We’ve handpicked several products that are rich in Russian culture and history. We carry all quality products that will make you the favorite friend or family member.

It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for children or adults, we’ve taken the time to offer you gifts that everyone on your shopping list will remember. It’s always nice to give gifts that people appreciate as well as use.

Yes, I think it went something like this: “Our young horsemen are strong and their caftan robes are encrusted with silver, but the young Russian officer is even stronger still and his epaulets are of gold. He is like a poplar among the others, yet he shall neither grow nor bloom in our orchard.”

M. Lermontov