New Year's traditions on Russia
New year is a holiday to which the set of traditions is connected. No wonder, in our country it is has been celebrated for more than 300 years! During this time there was a number of New Year's customs which create such a New Year's atmosphere loved by us. Occasionally we follow traditions of this holiday, even without suspecting about it, they so strongly took roots in our consciousness. For many families New Year's traditions are the most valuable and favourite.
Let's recall as this began and how New year was celebrated in Russia. We will begin with the fact that till 1700 the New year in our country took place in March according to bible canons, and secular New year came on the 1st of September. Therefore January was just an ordinary month. The order on celebration of New year was issued on the 1 of January by Peter I, we began to celebrate New year on those canons, which we have today thanks to him. It is interesting that the order on celebration of New year was adopted at a turn of centuries (1699 for 1700), and since then "boundary" New year is celebrated especially widely.
Instructions about need to decorate for New year of the street and collar of houses with juniper and pine branches for the first time were published in that imperial order and the tradition to put and decorate a Christmas tree appeared much later – only in the 19th century. At first people decorated also other trees, and preferentially with sweets – candies, tangerines, gingerbreads. The most real New Year tree was for the first time decorated in far 1852. By the way, a choice of a New Year's tree takes roots from Germany – fir was traditionally a symbol of health and longevity. By the way, wishes of health and long years sound on New Year's feasts more often than any other.
At the beginning of the XVIII century on celebration of New year the custom appeared to put on carnival masks. This New Year's tradition was connected to the organization of the magnificent carnival arranged in honor of conciliation with Swedes. Later the organization of carnivals became universal festive tradition. We still like to bring some mystery to holiday thanks to carnival costumes and masks.
The meeting of New year in new things was important custom. To this day it is considered that having dressed up on a celebration in new clothes and even footwear you provide yourself with new things for the whole forthcoming year!
In Russia it was traditionally considered necessary to leave all offenses and misunderstanding in the expiring year. Therefore, on the eve of a holiday it was accepted to apologize, peacefully close all disputes, celebrating a holiday in love and mutual understanding.
Well and particular importance was attached to purity of the house. Russia loves long and noisy celebrations and housing for a New Year reception of guests was prepared in advance. On custom, on the eve of a holiday all windows were carefully washed, and surely people threw out any beaten utensils to pledge for rich and full new year.
The favourite tradition was to make a New Year's feast really hospitable. Not without reason evening on the eve of a holiday was called "generous". Tables were laid rich – with a set of meat, fish, grits dishes. It is funny that our ancestors were careful to serve for New year the dishes made of hare meat – it was read that in this case happiness will run away from the house quicker than this small animal. The imagination of cooks in Russia had no limit – they used to cook a festive masterpiece in which as each new layer served the whole bird, and at the end a whole pig! Such casket with a surprise.
Well and of course street entertainments. People enjoyed round dances, walked and sang songs, visited and invited guests to themselves. And also drank hot alcoholic drinks made of honey and herbs – sbiten, mead. In other words, there were a lot of entertainments!
That's why to this day New year in our country is the most cheerful, most hospitable family holiday we all wait for so much.
By the way, guests of recreation facility "Staroladozhskaya Dacha" were lucky to meet New year in the unique historical place, where we have the cozy atmosphere of a traditional holiday to plunge to!