Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

This is a time when Christmas trees are hitting the curb and holiday celebrations are winding down for most Americans. For Russians, however, the party starts on December 31. In the Soviet times, New Year's Eve became the big winter holiday, complete with the many trappings of Christmas, but with none of the religious connotations. (Think New Year trees and "Father Frost" bearing gifts; more on this below.) I'm off to celebrate with friends and traditional Russian New Year's Eve food (recipes below). Have a wonderful New Year's, everyone. Thanks for reading all year long.

From the archives:
More on New Year's, and a recipe for "herring in a fur coat."
The New York Times on New Year's in the Soviet times.
More on Russian New Year's history.

New Year's Recipes:
Mushroom deviled eggs
Oliver salad

9 comments:

Maya said...

Ah, I really miss having a New Year Tree!

Happy New Year to you too!

Ahava said...

S Novim Godom!

Maya said...

It's me again :)
I read some of your older posts and wanted to comment again. I came with my family to Israel in 1990 from the Soviet Union. Before that we celebrated the New Year as everybody else with food, TV and the New Year Tree. After we moved to Israel we stopped doing that. My DH is an Israeli and I have hard time convincing him that if you decorate a tree that doesn't mean you celebrate Christmas :)
Maybe next year. I still remember the smell of the fresh cut tree in the living room ....

Ahava (again) said...

I really like the Russian-style New Years. For me, the association with trees and Christmas is so strong that a New Year's tree makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I'm warming up to the idea though. This year I helped my boyfriend's family decorate theirs. Maybe next year we'll put one of our own up, but I might have to decorate it with dreidles and magen davids, just to assert our Jewishness. ^_^

Oh, and as for the post you linked to (2007?), my boyfriend's family had a similar experience with JFS after they immigrated. That seems to be a pretty common reaction, which is another reason that I'm hesitant to put a tree up. I can just imagine all of the explanations that I would have to give my family and friends...

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Hi Maya-I loved having a New Year Tree when I was younger, and I always begged my parents to put one up. But I can see how a "New Year" tree wouldn't cut it in Israel! (By the way, I think I read an interview with you in the Jewish Chronicle last year about how Jews deal with the holidays in America.) The trick is to put your tree up after Christmas, like some Russians here do. :) You can get it much cheaper, too.

Ahava--S Novim Godom! I wonder how about Russian immigrants still put up a tree here. I don't think that a lot of them do it, especially those who consider themselves more Jewish now than Russian. Most Americans have no idea that for years Russians have celebrated New Year with a tree, presents, Father Frost, etc.

- AbsolutStoli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- AbsolutStoli said...

s novim godom!!

PS - we have a new years tree. i dont think its new years without one. none of my american (especially if they're also jewish) friends really get it, but who cares. its tradition. :)

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Thanks, AbsolutStoli. S novim godom. I didn't get a tree this year, but I always like admiring the one my parents have.

Lo said...

Happy 2010 to you! Looking forward to more adventures in the new year.

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