Moscow, September 20, Interfax - Russia is such a big and multiethnic country that holidays here can be celebrated practically all year around, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The head of state was meeting with the country's chief rabbi Berel Lazar and the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities, Alexander Boroda, on the occasion of the Jewish New Year.
"It is so good that we have such a big country," Putin said, welcoming his guests.
"A great one," Lazar said.
Russia is a multiethnic country and holidays such as New Year are celebrated here a number of times, Putin said.
"A great, very big, multiethnic, multi-faith [country]. We have something to celebrate all the time. Today we are celebrating the New Year for Jews, the Jewish New Year. My congratulations to you, to you and to all our country's Jews - happy New Year," Putin told Lazar and Boroda.
"And on [September] 21-22 the Muslims have their New Year. Although the Prophet bequeathed that other holidays be celebrated more solemnly than New Year. Then we, Christians, are having New Year. In Russia, it is also both new-style and old-style. And February 16 is the Buddhist New Year. So, the whole year round there is something to celebrate," the president said.
He wished prosperity, happiness and good luck to all Russian Jews.
The country's religious life is developing actively, Putin said, thanking the Jewish clergy for good liaising with the secular authorities.