Russian Wedding Anniversaries have a different meaning and
celebration associated with them.
First Wedding Anniversary - "Sitseviy" (Printed Cotton) - The first year of marriage can be one of the most difficult, as a young couple get to know each other much better, and also become aware of each other's tastes and habits! Perhaps they will discover a bad habit, which makes them cry... So, it is customary to give handkerchiefs from printed cotton to represent the tears during the first year of marriage. (Hopefully the handkerchiefs will not be needed!)
Second Anniversary - "Bumazhniy" (Paper) - The second anniversary is called paper, because happiness is so easy to break, (as easy as tearing paper), and it is customary to give each other beautiful love letters to declare to each other how your love is growing.
Third Anniversary - "Kozhaniy" (Leather) - The third year is called leather. They say that by the third year, a young couple know each other so well, they can feel each other in their skin. So, on this anniversary they should forgive all past wrong-doings, and throw away all broken crockery and mirrors from the house to keep everything in their lives new and fresh. They should also give gifts made of leather, such as gloves, bags, wallets and suitcases, as a sign that now it is the time to go on a honeymoon again!
Fourth Anniversary - "L'nyanoy" (Flax) - The fourth of the Russian wedding anniversaries is called flax, because the husband and wife are getting to know each other better, and the relationship is growing stronger, like flax (otherwise known as linseed - a plant grown for its seeds, as well as fibres). So, on this anniversary, the table should be set with flax tablecloth, and flax napkins, etc. The gifts are flax linen, towels, napkins, tablecloths and perhaps clothes such as shirts and skirts.
Fifth Anniversary - "Derevyanniy" (Wooden) - The fifth year is called wooden because the tree is a symbol of life and health, and people say that spouses should grow together like a tree, spreading its roots deep into the ground below. So, it is customary to give gifts made from wood.
Seventh Anniversary - "Medniy" (Copper) - The seventh year is called copper, because the relationship is now strong and difficult to break. But at the same time, they are still very flexible (like copper) and they should remain this way. Copper gifts for the house are customary.
10 Year Anniversary - "Rozoviy" (Pink) - The tenth year anniversary is called pink. The husband should give his wife 11 roses - 10 red and one white. The red roses are the sign of love, and the single white rose is a sign of hope for a long and happy life together. The bed should be covered with roses, the wife’s clothes should be pink, and in her hair should be a rose also.
15 Years - "Steklyanniy" (Glass) - Glass is a symbol of purity in relationships and of the love between spouses. However, like glass, love is delicate and must be looked after with care. Glasses, or glass vases are ideal gifts for this anniversary.
20 Years - "Farforoviy" (Porcelain) - Twenty years of marriage is a long time, and porcelain is a sign of this long bond, but also that we should remember that we must take care of each other and our love. For this anniversary, set the table with kitchenware made from porcelain.
25 Years - "Serebryannaya" (Silver) - The 25th wedding anniversary is called silver. It is a well-known milestone around the world, and silver jewellery is an ideal gift for this occasion. Russian wedding anniversaries in this year also say that the wife should wear a silver-colored dress.
50 Years - "Zolotaya" (Golden) - Fifty years together is a remarkable achievement, and this wedding anniversary is very special. To start the celebrations, the husband and wife should sit at the table together. They should have a cup of tea together as a mark of respect that the strong family has been built on the foundation of their love for each other. Afterwards, the whole family should come together to celebrate the magnificent love of this husband and wife, and share in their joy. A common tradition in Russia, is for new golden rings to be given to each other, with the previous rings passed on to the eldest son or daughter. It is customary for the children to shower their parents with golden coins or sweets.