Traditions of celebrating the New Year - in Russia, around the world
Mar 07, 2018
Snow, frost, elegant Christmas tree, a bag of gifts( which Santa Claus and Snow Maiden brought with them), fireworks, crackers, festive table - this is how the New Year has been celebrating in Russia for more than 300 years. But this custom appeared only after the Germans who settled here under Peter the Great brought with them their traditions in the celebration of the New Year . Until then, there was no need to decorate the Christmas tree in Russia, since before the "appointment" on the first day of January 1, 1700, the meeting of the young year was on September 1, and until the 15th century - in general on March 1.And as festive trees others dressed more suitable for the time of the year( while paying special attention to the coaxing of the good spirits in them living).
Heroes of the New Year
The protagonist of the Russian New Year( in addition to the president who annually addresses citizens at this time) - Santa Claus. In fact, this is a fairy-tale character who "came" to us from Slavic mythology, combining several deities of Zimnik, Korochun, Pozvizda and. .. St. Nicholas( added "thanks" to the baptism of Rus).Santa Claus usually wears a luxurious fur coat( blue, red or silver), a hat and felt boots, has a long white beard and a staff. He moves or in the old manner - on a triple horse, or more modern way - on skis. Slightly less often Grandfather walks on foot. Appearing in the winter, he brings with him a strong cold and snowy clouds, but. .. only not on December 31, when he is busy with the most important and difficult work - gives out gifts. He has an assistant - Snow Maiden, and a residence in Veliky Ustyug( in the northern part of the Vologda region).
The American brother of Santa Claus is known to us under the name Santa Claus. True, although he was born on a continent far from us, his "roots" are in the countries of Scandinavia. And the common "relative" unites the two snowy grandfathers - Saint Nicholas( who was considered the patron saint of children in his time).After a few changes made to his image in the early 19th century by a simple teacher from New York( who wrote a Christmas fairy tale with his participation), Santa Nicholas became known to many( and in different countries).Gradually, a part of his name "lost," and a white beard, and red pants with a caftan and boots became the "uniform" of Santa Claus. He got a home. It became cold and snowy Lapland, which was authorized by the UN in 1984.Of course, in other countries, their "Santas" come to visit their children: Peer Noel in France, St. Basil in Greece, Mikulay in the Czech Republic, Papa Pasquale in Colombia, Sylvester-Klaus in Austria, St. Stephen in Britainand many, many others. Each such New Year's owner is not only different in appearance or height( in Sweden, for example, this is a dwarf, and in Japan - the god Hoteyosho, who has eyes on the back of his neck, in Alaska local residents are given presents by a marine seal, and on the island of Samoa - a sea worm)but also by character.
As the New Year in the West and East is celebrated
It is clear that if most of the country is taiga, the traditions of celebrating the New Year in Russia simply can not be connected with any other solemn elements, except withevergreen spruce and snow slides. But in the south, where the fluffy beauties do not grow, they learned how to do without them. Yes, and the way for a special "note" the end of the old year, each people came up with their own:
- Italians at the end of the year get rid of old furniture;
- the French choose "bean king"( that member of the family who got a piece of a holiday cake baked bob);
- in Sweden, the children chosen by the queen of light Lucia brings gifts not only to babies, but also to pets;
- Bulgarians came up with a three-minute darkness at the festive table for kissing;
- the Colombian brother of our Father Frost - Pope Pasquale - can not live without fireworks;
- Cubans "pour" the old year out of the windows together with water( having previously typed it in all sorts of household containers);
- , the Japanese expel the vices of people with a bell ringing: envy, indecision, anger, frivolity, stupidity and greed;
- the British are catching the moment to kiss under the mistletoe twigs that decorate their homes. ..
As noted in the South
The inhabitants of the southern countries have much more difficult( in the "snowy" sense of the word) than the population of the northern territories. So in Africa the role of festive spruce is usually performed by a palm tree. Although, for example, in Uganda it is customary to decorate juniper. Of course, the ancient traditions of celebrating the birth of the New Year are almost nowhere observed. And to see, for example, in Egypt, a boat floating along the banks of the Nile with statues of the gods Amun, Mut( his wife) and Khonsu( son), we will not succeed. However, combining European traditions and local customs, you can get truly exclusive results:
- in South Africa, all children are given to give free gifts;
- in Kenya and Tanzania New Year celebrated with water "procedures";
- in Sudan is looking for a happy green nut( they are scattered in the streets in advance, so that everyone will have enough);
- in Ethiopia like to jump through fire;
- in Tunis, New Year's Eve, is completed by the local musical and poetic Sahara Festival;
- West Africa can hit the European with rather strange New Year's contests and ritual dances with real wounds from sharp daggers( by the way, they say that thanks to miraculous ointments all the wounds are tightened right before the eyes of spectators).
But in Australia the New Year is celebrated on the beach. First, at this time there is very hot, and secondly, only such a large open area is able to accommodate truly huge crowds of people. Santa also arrives very original - on the water on the surf. Well, so that the bag with gifts does not pull the "athlete" to the bottom, he gives out all the gifts the day before.
In this tradition, the New Year celebrations do not end in different countries. And although the New Year holidays are greatly influenced by the dominant religion in the country( for example, Catholics prefer to receive gifts for Christmas), as well as the time of their offensive, children and adults around the world are still waiting for a miracle at a time when the old year goes tothe past, giving way to the New Year.