Sunday, January 8, 2017

The First Week of 2017 in Photos. “New Year’s and Christmas Holidays”.

New Year's decorations

Before New Year I was pondering about 365 project. I was debating all pros and cons of taking a photograph every day for a year.
 I decided that I want to live without New Year’s resolutions in 2017. That’s why 365 project is not the resolution for me.  Maybe something more?

A walk in the park on the January1

So I took photos every day for a week. But I decided to post all (or some) photos at the end of the week and to tell a story about New Year’s and Christmas Holidays.

Here in Russia we have the unique opportunity to celebrate Christmas and New Year twice. We have the long official festive period (from December 31 to January 8 this year). And we have informal festive period which is even longer (from December 25 to January 14).

New Year’s Day and Christmas Day are the national holidays in Russia.

Christmas is observed most commonly on December 25. Some people in Russia celebrate Christmas on this day too.
But the majority of Russians, being Orthodox, celebrate Christmas on January 7.
This is due to a difference in calendars – the Gregorian calendar (which is used worldwide) and the Julian calendar (which is used by the majority of the Orthodox churches).
There are 13 days in difference between the two calendars, so December 25 in the Gregorian calendar is January 7 in the Julian calendar and December 31 in the Gregorian calendar is January 13 in the Julian calendar.

The Christmas day

People in Russia celebrate Christmas Day having a family dinner, attending a Christmas liturgy and visiting relatives.
The symbols of the Orthodox Christmas are a decorated fir tree, a star, an angel and baby Jesus.

An angel

Since 1991, people in Russia were free to celebrate Christmas again. But it's still a quieter holiday in Russia after the gorgeous New Year celebrations which are more like the Western Christmas. Christmas Day in Russia is more religious and private.

A piece of the homemade cake

The New Year marks the beginning of a new life.
We experience mixed emotions of hope and eagerness as we are waiting the New Year.

A decorated fir tree, Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snegurochka are the common symbols of New Year’s Day in Russia.

Grandfather Frost

The Orthodox New Year or the Old New Year is celebrated on January 14.
The Old New Year is an informal traditional holiday.  Many people celebrate this day with family or friends.
New Year's decorations

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”                    
                                                           Henry David Thoreau

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