A вы уже убрали ёлку?

by Olga Godwin

As the long chain of winter holidays remained in the past (in Russia, the holiday season starts with the New Year’s Eve - December 31st , continues with Christmas - January 7th, and ends with a humorous informal Old New Year’s Day  - December 14th), everyone is taking part in an anti-rating “How long are you going to wait before removing the New  Year’s tree”.



“A вы уже убрали ёлку?” would probably be the most popular small talk till the end of January, with an exchange of knowing smiles and jokes about a ‘mean’ wife forcing her husband to do the job before the May holidays.



An interesting fact about this question is that the verb убрать (perf.)/ убирать (imperf.) has two meanings which describe what you do with the New Year’s tree before as well as after the holidays.

1. Убрать can mean to decorate, as in the children’s song:
 “ Мы убрали ёлку в праздничный наряд,
    Огоньки на ёлке весело горят”.
This meaning is not so common nowadays,  listed 12th after the more common ones in the Russian dictionary and marked as “dated”, but you can still come across it in older stories and songs.


2. But more often you will hear the word убрать meaning to hide away or remove:




So, best to убрать your tree before you start убирать it for the next year’s winter holidays😉



Stay tuned and  read more about interesting words and phrases in Russian in our blog!