Christmas & New Year Fever
...or some traditional ways of the New Year celebration
In Russia we say that you will spend the whole year the same like you celebrated the New Year. You can draw the conclusion from this state: if the New Year celebration was not very well done, there is a big possibility that the whole year will be thrown down the pan. Be happy; be well prepared, - there is still some time left for that. I can tell you about some traditional and not very traditional ways of celebrating the New Year, which are taken from my own life experience.
Traditional Russian (soviet nostalgia) way. In many of the Russian families it is the tradition to celebrate the New Year in the bosom of the family. A couple of days before the New Year all the family members decorate the New Year tree together. Most of the families prefer to buy the freshly cut fir tree in one of the special fir-tree markets. The smell of the fir along with the smell of mandarins and the magical sparkling of champagne, garlands, candles and sparklers combine this special childish mood, when you wait for the miracle to come and all your dreams to come true in the nearest future. In many of the families people are in costumes of Santa Claus and Snow Maiden. In the first half of the 31st of December women are usually busy with cooking, cutting the salads and finishing difficult dishes. Also the integral part of the New Year feeling is the old Soviet film “Twist of Fate or hope you had a good bath”, which million of people are watching on the 31st of December for more then 20 years already. Usually, people are saying good buy to the old year and remember all the good and bad things which happened. Bad things are gone forever, good things stay for the coming year. Farewells are usually done with vodka. At 5 minutes before midnight all the members of the family must be sitting together at the table, there is Putin’s speech on TV, and with the first strike of a clock on the Kremlin tower, which is shown on TV after the congratulatory speech is over, all people in all houses start to open the champagne. When the striking is over, everybody is standing and shouting “Happy New Year” to each other. There is a present for everyone under the fir-tree. The party lasts till the morning.
Escapist’s way. Once I celebrated the New Year in the train going nowhere. There were around 10 people in the wagon. Different fates, different circumstances, but all of the strangers, who saw each other for the first time, were united together that special New Year night in the train. Some people lighted the candles, some decorated their place with garlands, my neighbor was an old nice woman. She was having a bottle of vodka with her, we were sitting, drinking and some other strangers from the wagon were coming inside with vodka or champagne wishing all the best for the New Year. It was nice, but I’m not sure, that I’d like to repeat this kind of New Year celebration. There came the moment, when all the friends and relatives began to call with congratulations, and I felt so lonely. The white trees behind the window were running away. The New Year was over. It was the 1st of January. I was so far away from home.
Some other popular ways to celebrate the New Year is: to rent a large cottage outside the city couple of months before the New Year, as there is a great demand and most of the best places are booked 2 months before the NY, and to celebrate New Year for 2-3 days with a large company of friends, drink, dance, have fun, and not to sleep for 2-3 days; go for the New Year to Goa in India, there are great non-stop trance parties which last for 2 weeks and start before the New Year – dancing naked people, trance music and the music of the ocean, ancient wisdom and fire shows, freedom and full power; go to bed at 11 o’clock, switch off the phone and celebrate the New Year while sleeping; celebrate the New Year with your lover – take a bath with candles together, eat, dance and fall in love again.