Published: 03.02.2021
15 cool facts about Birthday Party in Russia

Today we will continue exploring Russian culture! There are different birthday traditions all over the world. Every country has its twist on celebrating this special day. It is common around the world to give presents and sing the “Happy Birthday” song, but Russia has some different ways of celebrating this special way. So how do Russian people celebrate their Birthdays?

Don’t forget to pull the ears!

  1. In Russia, the person who has a birthday is usually the one who brings a cake and sweets to a workplace or to a school depending on where at this stage of your life you are at.
  2. if you go out for your birthday to a café, bar or a restaurant, in Russia it is expected that you will pay for your guests
  3. There is no “Happy birthday to you” song on Russian birthdays as such.
  4. It is also common in Russia to give money as a birthday present, especially if it is a big anniversary.
  5. in Russia, you should always give an odd number of flowers for birthdays and never give yellow flowers. It is believed that yellow symbolizes separation – it could be a breakup between friends or a miscommunication or a fight.
  6. A birthday party usually takes place on weekends when most people do not have to work. There is a belief that the person who celebrates birthday in advance, risks not living up to the actual birth date!
  7. Usually in Russia, we give presents and pull ears followed by the saying “Grow up – Don’t be noodles”. Meaning that a person needs to grow tall and strong.
  8. If you find yourself sitting between people with the same first names at a birthday party, you should make a wish and it will come true. It actually works!
  9. We usually have a number of candles on our birthday cake which correlates with our age. It is also very common to make a wish and blow the candles – but it needs to be done with the first try.
  10. As per gifts, it is better
  11. to give something that a birthday person might like. And it is common to ask relatives or friends for advice.
  12. the one who knows the birthday person the most or the longest would say a long speech about the person and his/her achievements or the story about how the two met and how one values the friendship or the relationship or something along these lines.
  13. For every round of alcohol, it’s common to make a toast. When someone celebrates their birthday, we choose a spokesperson to make toasts. It is also a good practice to honor the parents in the second toast.
  14. If you’re not able to make it to the birthday celebration, do not send birthday wishes in advance. In Russia, this is considered to be a bad sign.
  15. if you’re the first person to wish your friend a happy birthday on their actual birthday, they will remember it as it shows you were thinking about them.
  16. When it comes to birthday cards we usually write quite a bit and we usually wish a person a successful, prosperous, joyful life. It is also very common to wish someone to remain healthy no matter what the age of the person is.

Russian Birthday Vocabulary

День рождения [DYEN’ razh-DYE-nee-ya] Birthday
С Днём рождения! [s DNYOM razh-DYE-nee-ya] Happy Birthday!
Отмечать (день pождения) [at-mi-CHAT’] celebrate someone’s birthday
Желать [zhi-LAT’] (v.) wish
Пожелания [pa-zhi-LA-nee-ya] wishes
Счастье [SHCHAS-tye] happiness
Любовь [lyoo-BOF’] love
Удача [oo-DA-cha] luck
Успех [oos-PYEH] success
Открытка [at-KREET-ka] card
Подписывать (открытку) [pad-PEE-si-vat’] sign a card
Подарок [pa-DA-rak] gift
Покупать (подарок) [pa-koo-PAT’] (v.) buy
Дарить (подарок) [da-REET’] give a gift
Торт [TORT] cake
Свеча [svee-CHA] candle
Задувать свечи [za-doo-VAT’ SVYE-chee] blow the candles out
Загадывать желаниe [za-GA-di-vat’ zhi-LA-nee-ye] make a wish
Именинник [ee-mye-NEE-neek] Birthday boy
Именинница [ee-mye-NEE-nee-tsa] Birthday girl
Приглашать на день рождения [preeg-la-SHAT’ na DYEN’ razh-DYE-nee-ya] invite for your Birthday party/celebration

Would you like to throw a birthday party in Russian style? Become a volunteer or intern in Russia or simply choose a course and come!
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