Holidays & Observances in Belarus
Belarus is an Eastern European country. Throughout history, it has been controlled by Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and Russia, so all of those countries have affected its culture. Russia especially has made its mark on Belarus. During Russian rule, the native language of Belarusian was forbidden to be written or spoken. Russian became the official language. Though Belarusian has been the official language since independence, Russian culture is still a major part of Belarus. The predominant religion in Belarus is Christian Orthodox, though many other religions have made their mark. Judaism in particular has played a huge part in Belarusian history, though few Jews remain since the holocaust. Orthodox holidays are important in Belarus, celebrated practically nationwide. Like many Russian countries, New Years is the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year, celebrated much like western Christmas.