Local and visiting Russians gathered at Pacific Islands Club's Seaside Grill on Jan. 7 for a night of elaborate celebration as they commemorated Orthodox Christmas in accordance with the Julian calendar.
The venue was transformed into a Ukrainian village, with heaps of garden flowers and plants where hotel staff wearing traditional Russian costumes served 272 guests with a bounteous dinner buffet that included the classic Borsch soup.
Anna Yushkova, PIC Russian sales and marketing manager for Russian market, said that Orthodox Christmas is one of the most important and joyful holidays among Russian Orthodox faithful, which was banned in the country after the 1917 Revolution for 75 years.
Nowadays, she said, Christmas is openly observed and celebrated in a very festive way with big and joyful gatherings among family members and friends.
“Even while on vacation, people follow the tradition and celebrate this important and merry holiday,” said Yushkova, prompting one of CNMI's leading hotels that accommodate Russian travelers to organize a special event for their guests.
To add joy to the festivities, PIC invited anew two popular Russian celebrities to host the party. Konstantin Pospelov and Vilatii Rogozin performed various fun activities such as dancing, singing, and various games for both adults and children.
Both personalities also led the raffle draw that gave away exciting prizes such as gift certificates donated by local travel operators, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and car rental companies.
Yushkova said that the Orthodox Christmas party also served as a fundraising event to support the Children's Hospital in Vladivostok City, which houses over a hundred orphans.
She said all the guests and staff enjoyed the celebration of the Orthodox Christmas and are looking forward to the next big holiday, the Russian-style New Year, slated for Jan. 13 at the Magellan Restaurant.
Yushkova added that Sunday's event promises to be another enjoyable and successful party for Russian locals and tourists.