Friday, December 18, 2009
The Soviet regime wiped out any hint of Christ in Christmas, so the New Year became the central holiday, complete with New Year's tree and all the presents.
The celebration includes costumes for children, a vist from Father Frost, abundant food, and big fireworks displays. Originally a two or three day holiday, it became a 10-day event in recent years.
Instead of the birth of the Savior, the theme follows the Asian calendar. The Year of the Tiger, 2010, means tiger toys, tiger candy, tiger figurines abound. Russian Christmas, January 7th, is kept by attending Orthodox mass.