If you walk around Moscow at Christmas time, you won’t notice any difference. Everyone is getting ready for the Christmas celebrations. There are Christmas trees and festive Christmas lights everywhere in the city. Large banners wish the inhabitants a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Yet many Russians still wonder when to celebrate Christmas: on 25 December, at the turn of the year, or on 7 January? Revolutions and calendar changes have confused the population, and it will be years before Russia unanimously decides on the date on which the most important holiday of the year falls.
With the coming to power of party leader Mikhail Gorbachev (1985) and the introduction of his policy of glasnost and perestroika, there was a further increase in religious tolerance.
The Orthodox faith once again became an essential component of Russian society and the significance of the Russian Christmas celebrations with all their Christmas traditions on 7 January increased enormously.
At the same time as the Orthodox Christmas celebrations were gaining in importance, Russia was confronted on a large scale with Western Christmas celebrations. From 1992, the borders were open once again and the country was flooded with Western products and traditions. Young Russians in particular embraced this lifestyle with great enthusiasm and since Western Christmas celebrations, including Santa Claus, gifts and flowery Christmas decorations are an integral part of this lifestyle, the demand for these grew enormously.
Inspired by the West, but influenced by their own traditions and customs, Russian florists have created a cozy Christmas village.
Learn more in this issue of Fleur Creatif Magazine!
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