When I arrived in Russia 6 years ago, it was quite a surprise to find the Russians had adopted the Chinese Zodiac. From October onwards you see references to the coming animal sign all around; in advertising, promotions and products. It is very much part of the Russian New Year tradition. I guess this makes sense in a society that places the emphasis on New Year rather than Christmas.
2010 is the year of the Tiger. As you can see to the right here, even Ikea has joined in the fun and is offering a stuffed tiger toy at their store. It is considered lucky to give gifts that reference the upcoming animal sign to your friends and family so sales of these items are strong.
The reason I mention this tradition is to help you localise to the Russian market. Consider this as part of your web strategy – you may want to use the correct Zodiac animal in your branding or advertising. If you have goods that can be connected to the animal, even better. Any references to this, show that you understand Russian culture and help you make that connection with your audience.
And from me – have a good Christmas and New Year. May the year of the tiger be good for you, your family and your business!