Russian New Year’s Tradition: Drinking Champagne With Ashes

russian new years tradition drinking champagne with ashes featured photo

Countries around the world have their unique ways of welcoming the new year. If you want to try something new to celebrate, you might want to look into the Russian New Year’s tradition of drinking champagne with ashes.

The Russian tradition of drinking champagne with ashes includes writing down your wishes and goals for next year on a piece of paper before burning it. Then, sprinkle the remnants of the burned paper into your glass of champagne before taking a big swig.

This isn’t the only unique tradition Russia has to offer. If you want to celebrate like the Russians, we have more ways to help you do that.

Russian New Years Tradition: Drinking Champagne With Ashes

As we welcome a new year, it’s natural to think and wish for things we would like to happen to us next year. Whether that’s blessings, promotions, good health, or more travels, it’s good to envision what you want to achieve for yourself.

The Russian New Year’s Eve tradition takes wishing for blessings to a whole new level to make sure to fulfill one’s wishes. Here’s how the tradition is done:

Right before midnight, everyone gets a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. When the clock strikes twelve, open a bottle of champagne and pour it into champagne flutes. Then, everyone will write down their dreams, goals, aspirations, and wishes for the new year and burn the paper. Lastly, sprinkle the ashes from the burnt paper into the champagne (sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France) before taking a big swig.

Here’s the catch though: you have to do all that at the start of the last countdown to midnight and be able to toast and drink the champagne as the clock strikes 12.

You can’t waste any second so the trick is to keep your wish short and formulated and make sure that everything you need is ready. Otherwise, you might miss your chance to manifest your goals for the new year.

Russian New Year Crossword Clue: Drinking Champagne With ___?

Answer this:

Drinking champagne with ___: Russian New Year’s tradition.

Yes, you read that right. One of the most popular traditions in Russia is drinking champagne with ashes once the clock strikes 12 to signal the start of a new year.

It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition that’s meant to internalize one’s dreams and aspirations for the new year.

Other Russian Traditions to Celebrate the New Year

If the Russians’ New Year tradition of drinking champagne with ashes piqued your interest, here are some more of their traditions you might be interested in as well:

  • Start the year clean

Russians like to start the new year clean. This includes cleaning the house, paying off debts, and forgiving those who have wronged you. It’s also tradition to go to a banya, a Russian sauna, on December 31 to clean both the body and soul.

  • Ded Moroz and Snegurochka

If the Western world has Santa, Russia has Ded Moroz or Father Frost. Unlike Santa, he shows up on New Year’s to give gifts to well-behaved children.

He can often be seen in a long blue or red fur coat, a hat to match, felt boots, a staff, and a big sack of gifts. Unlike Santa, he shows up during the day and doesn’t shy away from showing up at parties.

He is also often joined by his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden Snegurochka. She is often seen wearing blue, a white fur coat, and long blond hair in a braid.

  • Watch a screwball comedy

It’s also tradition to tune in to the classic 1976 screwball comedy, The Irony of Fate while waiting for the midnight celebrations.

  • Two New Year celebrations

Russians celebrate two New Year’s: the “old” New Year’s Eve on January 14 (according to the Orthodox calendar) and the “new” New Year’s Eve on December 31, together with the rest of the world.

The “new” New Year’s is where Russians go all-out to celebrate while the “old” New Year’s is now a more intimate family celebration.

  • Salad can never be absent

The Olivier salad and the Herring Under Furt Coat are two staples on every table during New Year’s.

Oliveri salad is usually made with mayonnaise, potatoes, chicken, eggs, carrots, and green peas. Herring Under Fur Coat is typically made with mayonnaise, layered herring, potatoes, carrots, and beetroot.

  • New Year is a family celebration

The New Year is typically a family celebration so most people would spend New Year’s Eve with their families. People would usually go out and walk around the neighborhood only after midnight. People would go to parties and clubs and drink to celebrate.

  • Watch Putin’s address

Before the clock strikes midnight, Russians would tune in to watch the Russian president’s address. Once he’s finished at midnight, the fireworks are set off.


Different countries around the world have their traditions to welcome and celebrate the new year. One popular tradition is the Russian New Year’s tradition of drinking champagne with ashes.

To do this, people pop open a bottle of champagne and pour some on champagne flutes. Then, they will write their goals and dreams for the new year on a piece of paper and then burn it. Lastly, they will sprinkle the ashes into the champagne before drinking.

Drinking champagne is only one of the Russian’s many New Year’s traditions and we included a few others above as well.