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    Decree of Peter I

    Russian Tsar Peter I 


    On December 20, 1699, Russian Tsar Peter I signed a decree on the transition of Russia to a new calendar and the postponement of the celebration of the beginning of the year from September 1 to January 1.

    By his decree, Peter ordered January 1, 1700 to decorate houses with pine, spruce and juniper branches, according to the models, as a sign of fun, it is necessary to congratulate each other on New Year and a century.

    Fireworks, cannon and gun fireworks were arranged on Red Square, and Muscovites were ordered to shoot muskets and launch rockets near their homes.

    On January 6, the festivities ended with a procession to Jordan. Contrary to the old custom, the tsar did not follow the clergy in rich vestments, but stood on the banks of the Moscow River in uniform, surrounded by regiments dressed in green caftans and camisoles with gold buttons and a gown.

    The boyars and service people were ordered to put on European costumes - Hungarian caftans. And women should also be dressed in a foreign dress.

    I must say that these new New Year customs took root in Russia quite quickly, because earlier in that time in Russia one of the most favorite periods of the year was celebrated - Great Winter Christmas time. And many old rituals - funny carnivals, mummers' tricks, sleigh rides, midnight fortune-telling and round dances around the Christmas tree - fit well into the ritual of celebrating the New Year. 

     Since then, to this day, this holiday has entrenched in the Russian calendar.

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