Russian culture has a long and rich cultural history, steeped in literature, ballet, painting and classical music.
While outsiders may see the country as drab, Russia has a very visual cultural past, from its colorful folk costumes to its ornate religious symbols.
Colorfully painted onion domes first appeared during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, according to Lonely Planet.
They are commonplace in Russian architecture and are predominant atop church structures.
Here is a brief overview of Russian customs and traditions.
Russian culture places a high value on the homeland and on family, according to Talia Wagner, a marriage and family therapist with a specialty in cultural dynamics.
Islam is the second largest religion; about 10 percent to 15 percent of Russians practice Islam, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Russia is home to at least 190 ethnic groups, according to the BBC.Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a 19th-century Russian composer, is world renowned for "Swan Lake" and the "1812 Overture," among other pieces.There are several museums, including his childhood home, showcasing his personal belongings and musical artifacts.Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and known throughout the world.The Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg is another famous ballet company in Russia.These sets of dolls, known as matrioshka dolls, consist of a wooden figure that can be pulled apart to reveal another smaller version of the same image inside, and so on, often with six or more dolls nested inside one another.The painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate, usually symbolizes a Russian peasant girl in traditional costume.The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that 77.7 percent of Russians are of Russian descent.The rest of the population consists of 3.7 percent Tatar, 1.4 percent Ukrainian, 1.1 percent Bashkir, 1 percent Chuvash, 1 percent Chechen and 10.2 percent other, while 3.9 percent are unspecified.It is the world's largest lake and holds 20 percent of the world’s supply of fresh water. Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of territory, with a total area of 6,601,668 square miles (17,098,242 square kilometers).By comparison, the United States comprises 3,794,100 square miles (9,826,675 square km).