The New Year is one of the calendar Russian holidays, celebrated on the night of December 31 to January 1 of each year. Until the XV century (perhaps also before the adoption of Christianity) in Russia, the new year began on March 1, according to the Julian calendar. From the XV century, the new year began on September 1. During the celebration of the New Year, the Kremlin held a ceremony «On the Beginning of a New Summer». Between the Archangel Cathedral and the Bell tower of Ivan the Great, three analogies were installed on the platform — two for the Gospels and one for the icon of Simeon the Stylite of the Letter. Large candles were placed in front of the lecterns, a table with a silver bowl of water for the consecration. Opposite the lecterns they put two places: on the left for the patriarch, on the right for the tsar. The tsar applied to the gospel and icons, he was blessed by the patriarch. The patriarch in a special speech asked about the health of the tsar. The tsar ended his speech with the words «… God gave live.»

Since 1700, by the decree of Peter the Great, New Year is celebrated in Russia, as in other European countries, on January 1, moreover, as before, according to the Julian calendar. However, by 1700, most European countries had already switched to the Gregorian calendar, so Russia began to celebrate the New Year 11 days later than in European countries. The New Year 1700 was celebrated in Moscow under the Tsar’s order for seven whole days; homeowners had to put conifers in front of houses and gates, for decoration, and tar barrels were lit every evening, rockets were fired, two hundred guns were fired in front of the Kremlin and in private courtyards with small cannons. All this was done on a foreign sample. Only since 1919, the New Year holiday in Russia began to be celebrated in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.

However, the truly All-Russian holiday New Year was in the twentieth century. There are many traditions of celebrating the New Year in Russia. Some of them are borrowed from German culture (both in old times and in modern times), some originate from Slavic pagan traditions, some are a kind of imitation of Orthodox traditions at a time when religion was not encouraged, and, finally, place is occupied by the Soviet New Year traditions. From the times of Slavic paganism, folk festivals, mummers, buffoons and jesters, New Year’s divinations were inherited. Orthodox traditions brought traditional decorated firs, Christmas carols. The epoch of Peter the Great and the subsequent reforming rulers brought fireworks, Santa Claus and the New Year’s table. At the same time, foreign trends were usually Russified. So Santa Claus quickly identified himself with Grandfather Frost, lost reindeer, but he got himself an assistant Granddaughter Snow Maiden, who appeared in Soviet times. It was in Soviet times that the new year’s obligatory attributes were: champagne, tangerines on the table, Bengal lights, firecrackers, chiming clock and a solemn speech by the state leader to the citizens of the country. In the Russian Empire, on New Year’s Eve, balls were held, in Soviet times they were replaced, like in a number of other countries, by the New Year lights and feasts that accompany traditional songs. From 2005, the New Year holidays were established in Russia from January 1 to 5 (previously, only 1 and 2), and these days were declared non-working, and taking into account the weekend and Christmas — the official holiday, the weekend lasts 10 days.

New Year’s feast

When the New Year is celebrated, close people gather at the New Year’s table, usually in the evening of December 31 of the outgoing year. In the full version of the celebration of the New Year, the attendees first “escort” the old year — they remember what he remembered or what was the main thing for each of the assembled ones; wish each other that all the best of the old year passed into a new one. The traditional attributes of the New Year’s table in Russia are traditionally champagne, Olivier salad and Herring under fur coat salads, and tangerines. After the speech of the head of state (see below) at 0 hours 0 minutes, January 1, the chimes strike. With the first blow of the chiming clock, which marks the arrival of the new year, it is customary to clink glasses with champagne (and make a wish). In many countries, a few minutes before the new year begins (in Russia, as a rule, at 11:55 pm December 31), 10:55 pm, 0:55 heads of state address their peoples with a speech in which some of the past year’s results are usually summed up. , wish good luck to citizens in the new year. Appeal is broadcast by the media.

In the USSR and Russia, the tradition of such appeals begins with a speech by L. I. Brezhnev before the New Year of 1976. There was a “double appeal” in history before the new year 2000: first at noon on December 31, 1999, the appeal of the first President of Russia B. Yeltsin was sounded, in which he announced his resignation (this appeal was repeated several times), and after 12 hours The Acting President, Chairman of the Government of Russia V. Putin congratulated the TV viewers on the upcoming New Year. After the appeal of the head of state, the media broadcast the exact time signal at
midnight (in Russia, the Kremlin’s chiming clock), which marks the beginning of the new year. As a rule, after this signal is performed by the state anthem. Next, entertainment programs are broadcast, such as “Blue Light”, “Olivier show”, “Old songs about the main things” and more, which were shot a few months before the New Year.

During the month, starting from December 20th, various New Year’s events, fairs, sports and cultural performances are held on the main squares and in the parks. The culmination is the citywide big fireworks in the centers of Russian cities during the first hours of new year. After a feast, many families go out for festivities and watch colorful fireworks in central squares.