The Russian government recognizes about 9 official holidays, and by official holidays I mean that all government offices and most stores are closed. New Years day (January 1st) is probably the most celebrated and anticipated holiday in Russia. It is usually celebrated with friends, lots of traditional food, champagne, beer and vodka. It is common to exchange gifts and put up a tree for this holiday, so I suppose it is very similar to the American Christmas. Russians do also celebrate Christmas, but not on the 25th of December. They celebrate on January 7th. Also, Christmas is seen as much more of a sacred Christian holiday, filled with church services and other religious activities.
Russians celebrate the New Year in 2012- Moscow
Other popular holidays include День защитника Отечества (defender of the fatherland day), Flag day, Spring and Labor day, International Woman's day, Unity day, Russia day, and Victory day.