Moscow - Festivities kicked off around noon today with a traditional 21-Gun Salute likened by revelers to Chinese fire crackers at the start of the annual lunar New Year.
Patriarch Kiril, former head of the KGB and now the nation's top cleric, spoke to the masses on live TV:
"We Russians celebrate Christmas in much same fashion as apostates in the West," the cleric said.
"Families get together. Get legless. Exchange gunfire... ah, exchange gifts!! - together. Maybe even visit aged relatives later when vodka runs out."
The day's events were rolled out on live global TV in what some broadcasting critics say amounts to a cynical ploy to distract attention from less welcome news.
Orthodox Russians however are unrepentant and insist hogging the limelight with this sort of traditional Bolshevik stuff is just their way to deal with things.
Unfortunately the Russian Rouble is now worth diddly squat.