Tradition of New Year’s Eve party - is one of the most ancient and respected in the world. This time is mysterious, as the fairy tale from which both adults and children are waiting for a marvel. Today nations, and including Russians, celebrate a holiday on the 1-th of January. But this was not always the case - date of celebration of New Year in our country changed at least three times.
Anciently the New Year in Russia was celebrated on the 1-th of March when they entered upon spring farm operations. This tradition reeled a few in the 10th century when Russia adopted Christianity, and together with a new religion - the Julian calendar with the Roman names of months, seven-day week and the year's duration in 365 days. The Byzantine chronology came to stay too, where the creation of a world belonged to the 5508th year B.C. According to the calendar, that was new to Russia, a year had to begin in September.
But it is difficult to struggle with the ancient traditions. Even being baptized, the Russian people persistently continued to celebrate New Year in the old fashion - on the 1-th of March, from the beginning of a spring. Echoes of customs of that far, pagan holiday remained up to nowadays in some ceremonies of the Crepe week's celebration. The time was passing, and approximately by the 12th century people got used to the new iman and to the autumn New Year's Day. But they also did not forget about an old one, so the holiday began to be celebrated twice - at first in March, and then in September, and September passed especially solemnly. Those times they celebrated the New Year's Day as well as today - at night. On the last evening of the expiring year relatives and guests gathered at the board, tasted the best viands and drank after them with mead, distiller's beer or overseas wine - depending on the owners' prosperity. Talking about the following year they were waiting for midnight. Exactly in twelve being in silence the shots of signal guns announcing the approach of the New Year's Day were pealing in the cities. The bells began to ring in churches. People canoodled, kissed each other thrice, congratulated, wished well also piece. And the feast began! Last time autumn New Year's Day was celebrated on the 1-th of September, 1698...
The tsar-reformer Peter the Great, having opened a window to Europe, called off the ancient chronology since creation of the world and decided to date from Anno Domini. He as if "transferred" Russia from the 7208 to 1699 year. Exactly thenceforth the New Year's Day in our country began to be celebrated on the 1-th of January, however, with a lag for 14 days from a Gregorian calendar. Peter ordered to celebrate this holiday especially solemnly. The main and most important tradition the New Year's Day - is to decorate houses with living fir-trees and Christmas- tree decorations. Peter adopted this tradition from Protestant Germany and inculcated it very severely though since ancient times in Russia the fir-tree became an indispensable attribute of mourning, funeral rituals.
Peter the Great personally rode around the houses of hither stolniks, and the host in whose house he did not find a fir-tree, he ordered to beat mercilessly with batogas. And the decorated forest beauty for the first time lighted with sparks in St. Petersburg in 1852 - in the building of Catherine the Great (nowadays Moskovskij) station. Before a holiday it was accepted to repay all the debts, to forgive all offenses, and those who were in a quarrel were obliged to reconcile. On New Year's Eve they threw out all broken ware from the house, and washed mirrors. Carnivals and carnival masks appeared in Russia after 1721 when the magnificent masquerade - on the occasion of conclusion of peace with Swedes was arranged for the first time. Subsequently this form of celebration was also transferred to the New Year's celebrations.
The New Year's fir-tree could find a lodgement in Russia only during Nicholas' reign. This occues thanks to the emperor's spouse — the Prussian princess accepted Orthodoxy under named Aleksandra Fiodorovna. These times the Christmas trees appeared in nobility houses. They were decorated on the German type: a tree was bookended with the Star of Bethlehem and also they hung up on it the apples symbolizing a forbidden fruit. Subsequently the toys corresponding to Christmas subject began to appear. Such situation proceeded during the reign of all Russian emperors. But the revolution broke out.
In 1917 Bolsheviks made the next amendment to the Russian calendar, and the New Year's Day at first was abolished in all as unnecessary. Festive fir-trees were exterminated too as a remnant of imperial times, but pretty soon they were "rehabilitated". In 1930 in the Kremlin was arranged the biggest fir-tree of the country which laid the foundation for tradition of carrying out the main fir-trees on behalf of the state's heads. After cancellation and return of a holiday and also updating of the calendar in Russia they began to celebrate two New Year's Days at once - in a modern and an old way. Since 1947 the 1-th of January became a holiday again. And in 1954 the main fir-tree of the country — Kremlevskaya-tree was lighted for the first time. With the advent of Nikita Khrushchev in it became cheerful to live in the country in every sense. New Year's celebrations became really amplitudinous that was caused by the memories of a hard wartime. Gradually the New Year's Day began to acquire traditional lines and symbols — in 1962 the New Year's "Goluboj ogonek" was shown for the first time. Besides, the tangerines which also became one of New Year's symbols went on sale on the eve of holidays. In 1928 there was "The Soviet champagne" ("Sovetskoe shampanskoe"), but it became the traditional New Year's drink in the post-war period. And Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev became the father of a trend at all, having addressed people in an official way before the beginning of a new 1976. Mikhail Gorbachev began to do it already on a regular basis. Even during reorganization appeared the tradition to connect every year with a separate sign of the east calendar. In the hard times accompanying the breakup of the Soviet Union and formation of a new Russia, the New Year's Day was celebrated differently. But there was a permanent thing — people tried to make the New Year's spread maximally multivarious and rich in comparison with an ordinary one. On the eve of 1992 and 1993 there were no addresses from the state's top officials. And on the 31-th of December, 1991 Russia was wished with the New Year's Day by satirist Mikhail Zadornov. The European elements more often appear in celebration of the New Year's Day in Russia today. Traditional Soviet rituals, including viewing of the TV and cooking salads, are replaced with fairs of the European type, mass celebrations and people's participation in various actions applying for cultural character. Besides, a traditional mulled wine appeared on the streets. It is be able to make even the coldest winter day festive and warm.