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Why New Year trees were banned in the USSR
Why New Year trees were banned in the USSR

In the modern New Year, there is a huge number of Soviet traditions. It is not surprising, given that this is a time of miracles, they most often happen in childhood, many of us prefer to celebrate the change of the year the way our parents did, and therefore in the USSR. Why, even a drink, without which a New Year's table is impossible for many - "Soviet Champagne". And "The Irony of Fate …", which will invariably be included in the television network of many channels, "Blue Lights" also hails from the USSR. How did the very baggage of New Year's traditions, which we so carefully carry so far, have been created?

The fact that we owe the winter New Year to Peter the Great is well known. Prior to this, the change of year took place in March and in September. But the emperor, oriented towards Europe and its traditions, ordered to celebrate the coming of the new year on the night of December 31 to January 1 and designated a Christmas tree as a symbol of the holiday. However, after the reformer died, they began to safely forget about the tree, since the tradition did not have time to take root.

However, the Germans, who migrated to Russia in the 19th century with their whole families, and became very prominent figures, willingly installed an evergreen beauty, which laid a new fashion. She began to be perceived as something fashionable, stylish and modern and since then has firmly entered the New Year's everyday life.

Strife near the Christmas tree

Who would have thought that they tried to ban the tree

After the Bolsheviks come to power, an unhealthy interest begins around the tree. The atheistic propaganda that began, saw the symbol of Christmas in the tree, and therefore banned it along with the holiday itself. But if before 1925 it was rather such light propaganda and contemptuous "fi" from the state, then after 1927 a real war begins around the unfortunate tree. The propaganda campaign is intensified, with the involvement of cartoonists. For example, one of these posters depicts a mother with a child. Mom, of course, with a stupid expression on her face. They stand near a decorated Christmas tree and look at it, and a pop and a fist peek out from behind the tree.

That is, this is not a fun holiday that gives a feeling of a miracle not only to children, but also to adults, but simply a bourgeois - capitalist echo. And Soviet children will have their own ideologically correct holidays, but they don't need this one. The Soviet government saw no need to preserve traditions, especially since the basis of the holiday was very controversial and had a religious basis. Despite this, the hands of the Bolshevik government could not reach each and every one. Therefore, many parents secretly arranged a New Year for their children. There was a tree and Christmas. Yet, despite the lack of correct, from the point of view of the government, ideological foundations, this holiday played a big role in the formation of an integral personality who had a happy childhood.

But the bunnies have been around since those times

The government could not help but guess that the trees are being erected and the holiday is being celebrated. Therefore, we decided to come up with our own, no less colorful, but ideologically correct holiday. In 1935, the tree was suddenly allowed, and, as if nothing had happened, they began to install huge samples in the squares, decorate them. But its main difference was that it was a Soviet tree, for the New Year, and not for Christmas.

Earlier, Stalin said from the high rostrum that life has become more fun and better.Relying on such sentiments, some officials began to demand the return of the tree and the feeling of the holiday, primarily for the sake of the children. And they were heard. Fun, high spirits, readiness for new achievements then simply hovered in the air and the New Year perfectly fit into this mood. But here it was important to surpass the scale of Christmas. That is, the population should have understood that the New Year tree is not a Christmas rite, but something more interesting, modern and more exciting.

So, the New Year became a legal holiday, but it was necessary to celebrate it as comrade Stalin recommended. In the ideologically correct film "Carnival Night" this circumstance is played up very ironically when Ogurtsov said that "the intention was to cheerfully celebrate the New Year." So, the instruction was received from the Soviet government, but it was not accepted to object to him, and besides, they had wanted a holiday for a long time.

Establishing traditions

Every family had such a postcard

The laying of the foundations, which we now fondly call traditions, begins precisely in the second half of the 1930s. Simply put, we still largely celebrate the New Year as Comrade Stalin ordered. Yes, after realizing this, the magic and romanticism of the New Year fades somewhat. But, in fairness, it is worth noting that those who laid these traditions did their best.

It was in the second half of the 30s that the image of Santa Claus and Snegurochka, other fairy-tale characters who are involved in the New Year along the storyline, were finally formed. Forest animals were borrowed from Christmas plots, which celebrate by dancing around an elegant Christmas tree. The animals were recognized as ideologically safe elements and were included in the number of fairytale heroes.

But the most popular New Year's song "A Christmas tree was born in the forest" appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. Its author is Raisa Kudasheva, who worked as a governess. She wrote this song for her pupils, not at all hoping for a century-old history and memory. But she literally scattered among families, becoming a symbol of Christmas. Considering that it was a very difficult task to transfer a song to someone at that time, one has only to guess how much people liked it.

Even Christmas tree decorations in the USSR were ideologically correct

Most have no idea who the author of this song is, as it has become truly popular. The song managed to survive these Christmas and Christmas feuds and has already become a symbol of the New Year for Soviet children. In many ways, this song became the basis for the fact that the essence of the holiday was waiting for Santa Claus, lighting the lights on the Christmas tree, and then gifts under the tree. The struggle of positive characters with negative ones, who built a variety of intrigues and did not allow the Christmas tree to be lit, became the main storyline. Knowing the whole background of the holiday, it is not difficult to guess that the negative characters were the personification of bourgeois elements. And they have always been defeated. This scenario is used in almost all New Year's children's parties and performances to this day.

In Soviet times, the practice of inviting Santa Claus and Snow Maiden to the house for congratulations to a specific child appears. Already in the USSR, the image of a grandfather and his granddaughter was actively exploited, including for capitalist purposes.

Olivier, tangerines and champagne

The New Year's table in the Union was very eclectic

If we talk about the modern symbols of the New Year's table, then they are not at all perceived as some kind of Soviet one. Rather, for a Soviet person, they were something scarce, tasty, and therefore festive and delicious. The abundance and richness of the table for this holiday takes its foundations precisely from its religious foundations. Christmas was the end of the fast, numerous meals were served on the table, which were hearty and tasty. This personified the well-being of the house and promised it for the whole new year that came. That is, a rich table for the New Year is the basis of culture and has always been in the people's minds.

In the Soviet era, when the menu was determined not by tradition, but by what products could be obtained on store shelves or from under the floor, dishes were always distinguished by their special presentation and originality. It is not surprising that at first glance, absolutely incompatible products fell on the table, which, however, created their own special atmosphere. The most scarce products were kept for the holiday. Therefore, scarce tangerines, which were also an exotic product, were ideal for celebrating the New Year. In addition, it was by this period that they matured and safely managed to get to the counters of Soviet stores. Therefore, it is not necessary to say that tangerines, by some great coincidence, have become symbols of the New Year. At this point, as they say, the rich they are, so they are happy.

It was customary to prepare the main New Year's salad in basins

Olivier, which is also something more for Russia than just a salad, and, if you put your hand on your heart, it has a very dubious composition, also arose in an era of great deficit. And it consists of gourmet and tasty products, to which potatoes and carrots are added for satiety and volume. Olivier in Tsarist Russia was a gourmet dish and was served exclusively in restaurants. Caviar, crayfish necks, quail meat were added to it, a special unique sauce was prepared. Therefore, a modern Olivier salad prepared according to a Soviet recipe is a kind of economy variation on the topic.

Despite the fact that there was no sausage in the original recipe, it was she who became a substitute for meat and fish delicacies that were originally included in the salad according to the recipe. Green peas were also a scarce product, it is far from always possible to get them, therefore they were kept until a special occasion.

Soviet traditions, especially with regard to the New Year's table, were laid not by some rituals or religious traditions, but by the harsh realities of life. Despite this feeling of celebration and magic was in the air, otherwise how can one explain the fact that despite the fact that there is no shortage of food for a long time, Russians still cannot imagine the New Year without tangerines and Olivier.

Why did the Soviet Union love the New Year so much?

The New Year was a rare opportunity to be not citizens of the USSR, but ordinary people

He is still loved, but this especially warm attitude certainly did not appear overnight, in the USSR this holiday was a real miracle and magic. And this is explained by the fact that this was, perhaps, the only holiday in which there was no ideological background as in all the others. Traditional symbols and elements inherent exclusively to the New Year, the changes with which it is associated, gave a special atmosphere.

They began to prepare for it ahead of time, bought food in reserve, while they were there, until they managed to get it. Therefore, preparation in the Soviet period began much earlier than it is now.

Soviet people had too few opportunities to feel like a separate person, separate from ideology and the state, and the New Year was that rare opportunity when you could spend time with your family, not thinking about building communism, fulfilling a plan and other ideology. For the state, this holiday was also important, it seemed to emphasize that a Soviet person, who worked honestly all year, has the right to have a beautiful rest.

TV program for New Year's Eve

Classics of Soviet cinema

Considering the fact that Soviet citizens celebrated the holiday with their families, and were actually cut off from matters of state importance and ideological education, the only way to influence them was television. As planned, the Soviet families, having laid the festive table, were to gather near the TV, where specially trained people would spend the New Year cheerfully and cheerfully, within the framework of ideological dogmas. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what happened.

In 1956, the film "Carnival Night" was shot, which for a long time was one of the symbols of the New Year and, in general, was a very modern and progressive creation of cinema for its time.Gurchenko's dress, in which she appeared in the film, which, by the way, was shown on the main channel on New Year's Eve, became a green light for fashion trends, which at that time were in disgrace.

Another attempt to "fit" into the family holiday was state Christmas trees for children. Some of them were invited not all, but only excellent students, athletes and activists. Gifts and certificates presented at the event were another way to spur the younger generation.

The best of the best were invited to the final concert of the year

The legendary "Blue Light", appeared in 1962, he laid a real layer for television, setting the form of New Year's concerts, built on a completely different, hitherto unfamiliar principle. The viewer appreciated such a homely, warm approach, devoid of any officialdom.

The 70s were marked by a completely different approach, at that time horoscopes became fashionable, people no longer just celebrated the New Year, but calculated according to the Chinese horoscope the year of which animal will come, what to expect from it. This clearly demonstrated that Soviet people became more open to something new, the iron curtain began to open slightly. It was at the end of the 70s that a new symbol of the New Year came out - the film "The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath". Literally a couple of decades earlier, a scenario of this kind would have been deployed at the initial stage, but times have changed, and the characters have also changed. Therefore, the infantile drunkard Lukashin was perceived as a positive hero. But the positive hard worker, responsible, firmly on his feet, Hippolytus seems to be a laughing stock.

Over time, even the image of Santa Claus began to be interpreted in a more democratic way

Ten years later, Santa Claus has a competitor - Western Santa Claus, every now and then appears on postcards, the cheerful good-natured person is perceived somewhat differently by Soviet citizens and some people like him much more than the restrained, serious and even somewhat stern Grandfather Frost. The shortage of goods came to naught, citizens could already travel abroad, get acquainted with the culture of other countries, compare and bring their favorite traditions into their own life. It was at this time that the New Year became unthinkable without fireworks and fireworks.

It is not for nothing that there has always been so much hype around the New Year, for a long time it remains the very holiday that is able to unite not only members of one family, but entire eras. After all, it is not for nothing that today, as well as many years ago, we cannot imagine the New Year's table without tangerines, Olivier, and when setting up a Christmas tree, more often than not, we do not even realize that it was once banned. All these complex vicissitudes, traditions, the roots of which go back to Soviet ideology, or religious dogmas, as a result, are woven into a complex web of something dear, close and so understandable that the holiday becomes even more dear and sincere. Holiday greetings!

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