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Christmas and New Years can be a stressful time for us. But what if you had to celebrate two Christmas’ and two Years’? Our special guest Jennifer Eremeeva (author of Have Personality Disorder Will Rule Russia) is an American married to a Russian. Each year they have the potential of four holidays in less than a month. But why?

The confusion has to do with a discrepancy in calendars. It turns out that the old Julian calendar, which is used by the Russian Orthodox Church, is several days different than the Gregorian calendar that we use. This has to do with an old disagreement between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

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Herring Under Fur Coat Recipe:

This recipe is pretty simple, but it may take a few hours to make so do this one in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of mayonnaise (squeeze-able is easiest)
  • 3 medium size beats (peeled)
  • 4-5 carrots (peeled)
  • 1 large potato (peeled)
  • 1 jar of pickled herring
  • 1 bag of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh green onions
  • 1 jar of pickles

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Peel the beats, carrots, and potato then put them on boil for an hour. Yes, it will look like blood and the beats will dye the other veggies.
  2. While the vegetables are boiling, open the pickled herring (if in a jar). Remove any bones. Dice. Keep refrigerated until it is used.
  3. After the vegetables are boiled, grate each of them separately with the small holes.
  4. On a pie plate make a mound with the potato. Spread it out to the edges of your plate.
  5. Cover the potato with the following layers: mayo, pickled herring, green onions, mayo, carrots, mayo, pickles, beats, mayo, grated cheese.
  6. Place the whole thing in the refrigerator and let it sit for 2-3 hours before consuming. Overnight is okay too. The whole thing will turn a light pink color.
  7. Serve it like any other dip with veggies, crackers, or tortilla chips.

Other Sources

  • Russian Christmas blog post – Dividing My Time
  • Jennifer Eremeeva blog post – Is This Christmas?
  • Britannica article on the Julian Calendar

Topics Discussed:

  • Why is the Orthodox church on a different calendar?
  • What are the differences between the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar?
  • What is Christmas like in Russia?
  • What unique dish should I make for Christmas?
  • Russian food
  • Why did Pope Gregory establish the Gregorian calendar?
  • Who created the Julian calendar?
  • Russian history