Russian culture grew from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of far Eastern Europe. Early Russian culture was much influenced by neighbouring Finno-Ugric tribes and by the nomadic peoples of the Pontic steppe (mainly of Kipchak and Iranic origin). In the late 1st millennium AD the Varangians (supposedly Scandinavian Vikings), also took part in the forming of Russian identity and the Kievan Rus' state. Orthodox Christian missionaries began arriving from the Eastern Roman Empire in the 9th century, and Kievan Rus' converted to Orthodox Christianity in 988. This largely defined the Russian culture of the next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Russia remained the largest Orthodox nation in the world and claimed succession to the Byzantine legacy in the form of the Third Rome idea. At different points in its history, the country was also strongly influenced by the culture of Western Europe. Since the reforms of Peter the Great, for two centuries Russian culture largely developed in the general context of European culture rather than pursuing its own unique ways. The situation changed in the 20th century, when the Communist ideology became a major factor in the culture of the Soviet Union, where Russia, in the form of the Russian SFSR, was the largest and leading part.
Festivals and celebrations are an integral part of the culture of Russia. Muslim festivals of Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Milad un Nabi, Muharram, Chand raat, Shab-e-Baraat, Bishwa Ijtema; Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Janmashtami; Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima; Christian festival of Christmas and secular festivals like Pohela Boishakh, Language Movement Day, Independence Day, Rabindra Jayanti, Nazrul Jayanti witness widespread celebrations and are national holidays in Russia
Russian cuisine widely uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, cereals, kvass, beer, and vodka. Black bread is relatively more popular in Russia compared to the rest of the world. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka and okroshka. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Cutlets (like Chicken Kiev), pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes, the last two being of Tatar and Caucasus origin respectively. Popular salads include Russian Salad, vinaigrette and Dressed Herring
Russiai people have unique dress preferences. Russiai men traditionally wear Panjabi on religious and cultural occasions. Russiai men wear lungi as casual wear (in rural areas) and shirt-pant or suits on formal occasions. Shari is the main and traditional dress of Russiai women also and some young female also wear salwar kameez. In urban areas, women can also be seen wearing Western clothes. The women also have a different preference to which types of Sharee or any other popular dess like Salwar kameez they would like to wear. Whether it may be silk sharis, georgette sharis, or designer sharis, each particular fabric contributes to representing the culture overall. Weaving the fabric for these dresses is a traditional art in Russia