Party like a Russian

The whole concept of wishing things for the New Year and resolving yourself to live differently once the clock strikes 12 is rather mystical, if not religious.

A lot of people, of course, have given up on New Year’s resolutions.

For many Russians, it is a much much bigger deal that Christmas, for obvious reasons.

Initially, the Soviets tried to replace Christmas with a more appropriate komsomol (youth communist league) related holiday, but, shockingly, this did not take. And by 1928 they had banned Christmas entirely, and Dec. 25 was a normal working day.

Then, in 1935, Josef Stalin decided, between the great famine and the Great Terror, to return a celebratory tree to Soviet children. But Soviet leaders linked the tree not to religious Christmas celebrations, but to a secular new year, which, future-oriented as it was, matched up nicely with Soviet ideology.

The blue, seven-pointed star that sat atop the imperial trees was replaced with a red, five-pointed star, like the one on Soviet insignia. It became a civic, celebratory holiday, one that was ritually emphasized by the ticking of the clock, champagne, the hymn of the Soviet Union, the exchange of gifts, and big parties. Source

For the New Years celebrations, most Russians will clean their house like their hosting judgment day. They will cook up so much food as if it’s their last meal on this earth. They will call their frenemies as if they are making peace before they die…

I still think that there is no such thing as a truly non-religious mindset. A religion will creep in, whether you call it a religion or not. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, at all.

Published by

Dr Martina Feyzrakhmanova

I am a hospital doctor and founder of an education platform. Avid reader and writer of introspective blogs.

5 thoughts on “Party like a Russian”

  1. “I still think that there is no such thing as a truly non-religious mindset.”

    A-ha, a provocateur, I see your game.

    Well. . . I believe that you believe: there is no such thing as a truly non-religious mindset.

    Perhaps becoming a little more random could change that.

    Great blogging year Martina. I think we should all keep up the hard work next year. Have a good one. א

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In 2018 I vow
    To not visit Mars (nor drive a red Tesla upon that foreign body).
    To extend Stoicism in my daily life, even if I have to accept that I cannot.
    To trust no one’s word, even if they themselves expect that their word is false.
    To drink more or less beer than I already do.
    To expect nothing from this life other than that which must be expected.
    To see the beauty in small strange things, beauty only humans can know.
    To delve further into understanding the Universe, which is absurd, so, in the end, I will dive deeply into the absurd, for no other reason than to swim with contradiction and paddle with folly.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure you realize that there’s only two concrete intentions there; no traipsing on Mars and beauty in weird minutia. The others are intentionally circular. I think the Stoicism one is classic.

        Liked by 1 person

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