Voices from Russia

Sunday, 14 January 2018

14 January 2018. Only in Russia… It’s Old New Year!



Today is Old New Year in Russia! Yes… that’s an unofficial Russian holiday. You see, 14 January is 1 January on the Julian Calendar that the Orthodox Church uses. Therefore, many people (including many non-religious sorts) hold a second New Year celebration on that day. A leftist friend of mine emailed me:

People are abandoning the Fast less and less at New Years. There are Communist New Year’s Parties where (out of respect for Believers) a table groans under the weight of delicious Lenten delicacies… lobster, shrimp, oysters, herring, caviar, savoury Persian and Caucasian vegan treats, Lenten pirozhki, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and so much more. Plus, there’s an open bar of the best champagne, vodka, and Cuban & Haitian rum. Of course, they have a table full of meat and dairy items for secular people. However, those Comrades who observe the Nativity Fast can keep both the letter of the Church’s law and, with moderation, its spirit.

That’s why many keep the Old New Year… it allows them to have the meat n’ dairy delicacies that they abstained from on 1 January (many Orthodox Christians abstain until 7 January, the Julian date for the Nativity). Then, there are the party animals, for whom any excuse will do for a shindig.

To the Old New Year! Lift a glass and cheer!



Wednesday, 13 January 2016

13 January 2016. Tomorrow is the “Old” New Year!

00 To the Old New Year! Russia 130116

To the Old New Year!


Tomorrow, 14 January, is the Old New Year. No, that’s not a contradiction in terms… it’s 1 January on the Julian Calendar. Therefore, for some Russians, it’s time for ROUND TWO of New Year’s celebrations! We’re in the midst of the Svyatki between Christmas and Epiphany (which is next Tuesday, 19 January). It’s a time to feast, feast, feast… and I, Tyotya Vara, will carve the roast beast!

Pass the jug and cheer… did you really need an excuse to do that?


Monday, 14 January 2013

13 January 2013. It’s Old New Year’s Eve



Belarusians shall celebrate the Old New Year. The tradition of observing Old New Year appeared in 1918, when the new calendar was introduced in Russia. The difference between the two styles was 13 days. This tradition is also observed in Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Click on the first URL below for a 36-second video (on the page presented, click on “watch”, it’ll download… and you can play it, and, then, delete it). Even if you don’t know Russian, it has good visuals.

In the evening of 13/14 January people will celebrate the Old New Year by singing shchedrivky. On this day, people gather as family, cover the table with a generous variety of food, and go carolling. What else does one need to do to ensure success for the whole year? Our correspondents visited a rehearsal of the celebration at the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life for the Svyatki (Holy Days). It was at a typical village house, typical of those found in Kopyl Raion, showcasing the traditional rituals of the Christmas period. One of the customs was that you’d try to “steal” your neighbour’s decorations, but, of course, you’d have to return them the next morning. It was believed that if the person who stole them wasn’t caught, they’d have good luck on their farm for the next year. Only here, in the open-air museum by village Ozertso, can you witness a folklore festival and learn how our ancestors celebrated prosperity and success in the New Year. The organisers invited groups from all parts of Belarus. One, from the north, in Lepel Raion, another, from the south, was the ensemble Chornabrytsy. Many in  the crowd warmed up dancing and singing, whilst others learned the basics of making Christmas stars, and one did a little Christmas goat… a good luck charm. From now on, for the rest of the week, the museum will present carolling with shchedrivki. Click on the second URL to download a three-minute video with interesting visuals. By the way, notice that the people are singing songs claimed by Ukie nationalists… NEVER argue with such sorts… it’s not only pointless, they use such arguments to accuse YOU of “hate speech” (what a laugh)… take that threat seriously, these people aren’t wrapped too tightly and they’re fanatics.

For the twelfth year, the Minsk House of Mercy brought together residents and visitors for a Christmas pageant. On Old New Year’s Eve, Ded Moroz is once again in the spotlight. He showed up at the House of Mercy on Frantsiska Skorina Street. Ded Moroz and Snegurochka flew in by helicopter; his landing was the highpoint of the celebration. Joyful kids met the magician after his voyage. Archpriest Fyodor Karpov, the rector of All Saints Chapel at the House of Mercy said that families coming to the House of Mercy for this pageant have started a good tradition. After all, spirituality in the family is the key to its well-being; by the way, I think that most would agree that’s the point of the holiday. Click on the third URL to download a three-minute video with good visuals.

This is how “nasty” and “dictatorial” Belarus keeps the feast. C’mon… aren’t most of you ashamed of supporting those who hate them? It’s clear that Belarus isn’t Hell on Earth… it isn’t the Lap of Luxury, either, but it isn’t the cesspit depicted by the Western media and some Western political factions. They DO have a noxious, put-on, and deceitful agenda, after all (amply illustrated by the likes of Rod Dreher, Terrence Mattingly, and Freddie M-G, amongst others)…

13 January 2013





Friday, 13 January 2012

VOR Presents… Old New Year’s Eve: The Second Time Around

On the night before 14 January, Russians celebrate one of their most paradoxical and favourite holidays… the Old New Year. The tradition to celebrate Old New Year comes from the differences between the Julian (also called “Old Style”) and Gregorian calendars, the latter of which is now virtually the universal standard throughout the entire globe. The discrepancy between the calendars in the 20th and 21st centuries is 13 days {and will go to 14 days in  the 22nd century, due to differences in calculating leap years: editor}.


Old New Year is a rare historical phenomenon, an additional holiday, which came about because of a change of era. Because of this calendar discrepancy, we now note two “New Years”… Old and New Style.


Ever since 1918, when Russia switched over to the “New Style” calendar, it’s been a tradition to celebrate the Old New Year.


On the Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in Moscow, revelers display paper flying lanterns in honour of the the Old New Year.


In the Russia, the tradition to celebrate the Old New Year came about because the Orthodox Church in Russia still marks all religious holidays according to the Julian calendar (Old Style). The modern New Year falls during the Christmas Lent… it’s an Orthodox day of abstinence to prepare for the coming Christmas holiday {which falls on 7 January on the secular calendar: editor}.


Thus, on the night of 13 to 14 January, everyone who can afford to “re-celebrate” marks this most favourite holiday. For many believers, Old New Year’s of particular importance because they can only celebrate it with full vigour and soulfully after the end of Christmas Lent.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, besides Russia, people also celebrated the Old New Year in Moldova, Armenia, Byelorussia, Latvia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan (about 40% of the population), and Georgia, as well as by Slavs and residents of other former Soviet republics and Orthodox countries in the Near and Far Abroad. In the image above, revellers in Carpatho-Russia celebrate the Old New Year, or as they say in po-nashemu, Malanku.


Young men and soldiers from the Siberian District of the MVD Internal Troops hold a mock fist fight to celebrate the Old New Year in Trinity Square.


In Russia before 1918, the arrival of the New Year came during the Holy Days (Svyatki) between Christmas and Epiphany, so all the traditional people’s new-year omens, divination, carnivals and carol-sing are more applicable to the Old New Year than to the celebration of the modern New Year.


Villagers from Zakalnoe sing kolyadki during the celebration of the Old New Year.


It’s interesting that the difference between Julian and Gregorian calendars grows every century, when the first two digits of the number of the beginning of the century isn’t evenly divisible by four, the difference grows by one day.


In Carpatho-Russia, on 13 January, they celebrate the Old New Year or Malanku. Here, we see revellers wearing costumes.


Today, year in and year out, Old New Year’s is growing in popularity, and Russia is no exception. More people refer to it as independent holiday, which extends the cheer of New Year, or it’s when you truly feel it’s the charm for the first time. In fact, this holiday’s more relaxing, for people don’t feel the pressure that inevitably accompanies the modern New Year.


Here’s a hint… the most traditional dishes for the Old New Year’s table are pork products. An Old New Year’s meal isn’t skimpy… on Vasiliev Vecher (St Basil’s Eve), everything was the best and tastiest that one could get, people normally had meat pies, kolbasy (sausages), meat, bliny (pancakes), kutya, and kasha, and people washed it all down with beer, wine, and vodka. The Old New Year’s table HAS to have kutya and any kind of pork, as St Basil is the patron saint of pigs. Also usual were dishes containing rabbit and chicken. According to popular belief, eating rabbit made one nimble as a hare, to eat chicken made one as light as a bird. If one was well-off, a boar’s or pig’s head as the centrepiece of the spread table was obligatory.

http://ria.ru/infografika/20120113/538360115.html (if you click on the link, it has some recipes in Russian)

http://ria.ru/ny2012_food_recipes/20120105/517173924.html (here’s some Christmas recipes in Russian)

13 January 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


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