11 January 2008

did you know...

that Dyed Moros is not the traditional Russian gift-giver on Christmas? I didn't. I thought he was a traditional figure in Russia history that got re-assigned from Christmas to New Year's celebrations by the soviets along with the tree, the food, and other trappings.

Not so! He and his granddaughter/niece/helper-girl Snegoritchka were created by the soviets for New Years. The traditional gift giver was Sankt Nikolas.

Another thing I hadn't thought about was the fact that many Russians now celebrate New Years before Christmas. This is disconcerting to the people I've talked to. There are actually people who are trying to move the celebration of Christmas from January to 25 December. They think if they're celebrating New Year's on a Julian calendar, then Christmas should be celebrated on that same calendar. Makes sense to me, but I hadn't thought of it.

AND, did you know that leap years are "bad" in Russia? For some unknown-to-me reason, that extra day, that ne normalna occurance is baaaad.

5 comments:

annmarie said...

you're so smart, Kate...

Kay B said...

Wow, very interesting bits!

This weekend we are going to a Russian 'Father Frost' party. I know, it's a bit tardy, but apparently the space was not available until now. It's being put on by FRUA, should be fun!

chou-chou said...

cool little insights to the Russian mind! I didn't know any of these things...

Annie said...

We are also planning a Yolka Party - next weekend. My Orthodox friend thought this was very appropriate because it is the [Russian version of] The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Well, good! That's all I can say! And like Kay B - it was all due to when we could organize both ourselves and the hall. I really think the Russian way of having a month of holidays - mix and match is GREAT!

Dawn said...

I never knew about the leap year bad luck until I told someone at my church I was engaged last September. She was shocked that we wouldn't be getting married by the end of the year. She said 2008 was a ____ year (I didn't know the word she used). It took me a while to figure out what in the world she was talking about! Good think I'm not superstitious :).