New Year is one of the main holidays not only in Russia, but also all over the world.
Since X century they celebrated New Year on March 1, in XV century New Year was transferred to September, 1. Peter I changed a calendar according to the West-European calendar, cancelled ancient chronology from creation of the world and decreed to enter calendar from Christ birth - transferred Russia from year 7208 to year 1699. They began to celebrate New year on January, 1, but again with backlog for 14 days from the Gregorian calendar.
New Year's Day is the most beloved holiday for all Russians. There are a few reasons for this. First, this holiday connects everyone with their childhood, in particular their youthful dreams, hopes and beliefs in miracles. Another reason is that the holiday usually lasts more than a week because of the Russian Orthodox Christmas, which immediately follows the New Year. These two holidays provide about 10 days off for Russians, like a nice winter vacation. Russians try to use this time as best they can. Many people go to the country side to ski, escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and get some real winter rest by going to the sauna or typical Russian banya. Others love to stay at home with their relatives and friends. New Years day is considered to be a holiday, when people spend time with their family. Most Russians get fur trees shortly before the holiday season and decorate it with different toys and lights. Russians do not decorate their windows as in western countries; however, in the past few years this tradition has slowly grown and sometimes you can see lights in the windows of people's homes. Some cities, which are closer to the border, like Vyborg (about 120 kilometers north from St. Petersburg) are more influenced by the west.