1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What is special about New Year celebration in Russia December 30, 2008


image of a poster in Moscow

What is special about the New Year celebration in Russia? – No, not the amout of vodka being taken upon, although Russia is  notoriously famous for that.

There is something just opposite to the vulgar tradition of collectively getting drunk – there is a tradition of a sweet innocence, accopanying the arrivial of the New Year… So what is it then?

Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”) is pretty much similar to Santa Claus, However, unlike the secretive ways of Santa Claus, he often brings presents in person, at the celebrations of the New Year, at New Year parties for kids by the New Year Tree. Generally, the traditional appearance of Ded Moroz has a close resemblance to that of Santa Claus, with his coat, boots and long white beard. Specifically, Ded Moroz wears a heel-long fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and white valenki or high boots (sapogi), silver or red with silver ornament. Unlike Santa Claus, he walks with a long magical staff, does not say “Ho, ho, ho,” and drives no reindeer but a troika.

These are basically some differences which are rather understandable. But there is a female figure next to Ded Moroz – which is a very Russian tradition, not known anywhere around the Chrisitian world (didn`t I mention in my earlier posts, the attitude to women is special in Russia?)…

Ded Moroz is being accompanied by Snegurochka(” Snow Maiden”, his granddaughter). She is a beautiful (young) girl with a long blond plate wearing white or light blue fur-coat.


She is helping her grandfather to visit all the children and normally she comes up shortly before his arrival and makes children call him out loud. She has a sweet and innocent character and it is actually unknown how and why such a person appeared on Ded Moroz`s side. Little is known about this admirable person. There are 2 different legends, telling about the origin of Sengurochka.

In one story, she is the daughter of Spring and Frost, who yearns for the companionship of mortal humans. She grows to like a shepherd named Lel, but her heart is unable to know love. Her mother takes pity and gives her this ability, but as soon as she falls in love, her heart warms up and she melts.

In a different version an old couple make a girl out of snow, who turns into a living being. She grows up quickly. A group of girls invite her for a walk in the woods, after which they make a small fire and take turns leaping over it. When Snegurochka’s turn comes, she starts to jump, but only gets halfway before evaporating into a small cloud.

Whatever is the origin and the purpose of that archetype, Snegurochka  -like a snow-angel, sparkling with innocence, joy and purity – remains a special, wonderful symbol of the everlasting child and a hope for the new beautiful life…



 – and EVERYONE!!!




17 Responses to “What is special about New Year celebration in Russia”

  1. Sahaja Says:

    Heyyy !!
    I have read about the first version of story before but did not know that she is the granddaughter and on new year ocassion!

    And Ya….Thanks for being there 🙂
    Happy Happy New Year!
    May you see more smiles per day!

  2. dinesh1201 Says:

    May this New Year bring many opportunities your way, to explore every joy of life and may your resolutions for the days ahead stay firm, turning all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into great achievements.

  3. wortman Says:

    Ich wünsche dir einen guten Rutsch, Erfolg sowie Glück und mögen sich in 2009 ein paar Wünsche erfüllen.

  4. axinia Says:

    Thank you, Sahaja, Dinesh and wortman – same to you, may your dreams and best wishes come true!!

  5. swaps Says:

    Thankx Axinia for the story….reminds me of childhood. It was a typical Russian story.

  6. kanagu Says:

    That is a nice story Axinia 🙂 Very cute and beautifil 🙂

    A very happy new year wishes to you 🙂
    Wishing you a lots of success this year 🙂

  7. swaps Says:

    С новым годом мою красивую индийскую подругу

  8. That’s a lovely story, Axinia!

    Snegurochka would never be able to visit the tropics, then 😦

    And her wonderful grandfather Ded Moroz has such a long beard! 🙂

  9. Scietech Says:

    Wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! 🙂

  10. wortman Says:

    Happy new year, lady Axinia

  11. axinia Says:

    thanks everyone for your wishes and smiles!!!

  12. Erwin Says:

    Hi Axinia ,
    Have written a new story . See if you like it . I think your bit about Died Maroz triggered me to write about Father Christmas somehow , the deeper meaning , the beautiful innocence symbolised by this beautiful custom, and then they showed the film of Narnia on TV yesterday where Father Christmas appears …so what could I do ? : )

  13. Russell Says:

    We celebrated 8 new year celebrations in Russia from 1997-2005. Thanks for the wonderful memories of this Russian holiday. Do you have some background information on the Russian Christmas celebration, next week?

  14. axinia Says:

    Thanks, Russel – it is a good question but I think I am not really qualified to answer that 🙂
    i mean I grew up in an atheistic family (as millions of other Russians) and we never celerated Christmas.

    Now the Church is getting stronger and they incourage people to celebrate it, however the real traditions are missing because they had been rooted out in the Soviet times. As I do not live in Russia now, I have no idea how they celebrate Russian Christmas today.

  15. artworkofhorus Says:

    I’m grown in the former USSR. I know that there are these two people are the best friends of the children. And as always, we celebrate in the family “old” X-mas and the “old” New Year’s Day. And always is wonderful!

  16. axinia Says:

    artworkofhorus, thanks for that sweet reminder! Yes indeed we celebrate the !old new year” on the 13th of January – amazing how long this tradition has been kept!!

  17. Triveni Says:

    Felt like a small girl listening to a bed time story.. 🙂
    Wish you and ur loved ones a very happy and joyful new year!!!

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