Russian culture began from the culture of the East Slavs with their specific beliefs and lifestyle in wooded regions of Eastern Europe. Ancient Russian culture was influenced by bordering Finno-Ugric tribes and by itinerant, mainly Turkic, peoples of the Pontic grassland.
Over the years the Russian culture has been inspired by Western European culture. In 20th century, the Russian cultural heritage has secured seventh position in the Nation Brands Index that is based on interviews of around 20,000 people primarily from the Western countries and the Far East. It happened because of the involvement of Russia into contemporary globalisation and international tourism.
In Russia, the most common foodstuff is bread, whereas potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and beets are considered as standard vegetables. The use of onion and garlic is substantial, particularly in preparing soups, stews, and salads. Russians love to eat meat. Some of the widely available and cheap food items are Sausage, pork, beef, mutton, chicken, and dried or salted fish. Some of the costly food items are veal, duck, sturgeon, and salmon.
Usually, Russians have coffee or tea with bread and sausage or cheese for breakfast. Their lunch consists of soup, potatoes, macaroni, rice or buckwheat kasha, ground meat cutlets, and peas or shredded cabbage. Boiled potatoes, soured cabbage, and bread or simply bread and sausage are some of the mostly served items in a Russian supper.
Russians also love diary products and fruits. They are fond of tea and coffee. Majority of Russians prefer to have meals at home.
Traditional dresses of Russian men are kaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka and that of women are sarafan and kokoshnik and lapti and valenki are the common shoe for all. The Cossacks who live in Southern Russia follow a different culture and they mostly wear burka and papaha.
Traditional peasant dresses are made of homemade canvas and wool clothes adorned with embroidery. The embroidery comes in various ornaments, executed in naturally painted threads. The color gamut of the threads is rich including red, blue, green, white, yellow etc.
The Russians follow Christian traditions like healing use of "holy water" from a church. Along with rural population, still the urban Russian intellectuals abide by the conventional beliefs about forest and domicile spirits and metaphysical curative practices. The Russians believe that whistling in the house calls for bad fortune. Saying people that have a beautiful child may be the reason for uneasiness and it requires protection against the evil eye.
Russian people conduct certain rituals during the death of a person to check the dead from staying or returning. During this time, people cover the mirror with black cloth and lay down the body in a way to make it easy for the spirit to go out. Relatives and friends go along with the deceased from home to church and from church to burial ground. After funeral, mourners come back to the family's home, where they are served with certain food items along with vodka and the deceased is remembered with anecdotes and stories. Food and vodka are kept at the deceased’s place for nurturance of the soul. The soul is believed to stay on earth till forty days and during that period the family holds another gathering to offer farewell as the soul makes its way for heaven.
The following are some of the events celebrated in Russia with lots of joy and fervor: