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Authorities banned the Christmas tree in the Soviet Union, but reinstated it as the Новогодняя ёлка (Novogodnyaya yolka, "New-year fir-tree" in 1935; it remains part of the Russian New Year traditions. Grandfather Frost (a Santa Claus-like figure) allegedly brings presents to put under the tree with the help of his granddaughter Snegurochka (Russian: Снегурочка, generally translated as "the Snow Maiden").
The day first gained some official Soviet sanction after Pravda published a letter from the Kiev functionary Pavel Postyshev on 28 December 1935. Later (in 1947) it became accepted as a holiday; from 1930 till 1947 it remained just a regular working day, but later it become a no-work day; until in the early 1990s it was considered[by whom?] as the only acceptable public non-communist celebration.
Novy God is a also major holiday in other countries of the former Soviet Union, marked by a massively produced Novogodni Ogonek (New Year's Party, literally: New Year's light): a televised celebration that includes performances from favorite pop singers and professional dance troupes, not unlike the Oscars or the MTV VMAs, with famous personalities and celebrities as presenters. It remains popular in many countries that formerly formed part of the now-defunct Soviet Union and in Soviet/Russian emigrant communities worldwide. The coming of the new year and the actual beginning of the celebration is marked by the Kremlin Clock striking twelve, i.e. at Moscow Time.
Russians generally take the week between New Year and Christmas (celebrated on 7 January, corresponding to Christmas Day according to the Julian Calendar) off (Новогодние каникулы "New Year's holidays").
Novy God in Israel
It is called with the Russian pronunciation "Novy God" (נובי גוד) and is different from the "new year eve" (considered as a different holiday). As this holiday is defined as a nonreligious celebration, many non-Christian people still celebrate the holiday. As an example, in the Jewish parts of Israel with high number of ex-USSR immigrants a person might find lots of Novi God merchandise. In Israel there is a major conflict for those who celebrate the Novy-God (non-Christian): it is so common that a person could find newspapers explaining that immigrants are not celebrating the Christian new year, to find anti-Novy God flyers, and almost every year a person would find anti-Novy God chain letters, a bill that bans Santa and tree for showing in public places.
It is common to allow Russian soldiers serving in noncombat facilities to get out on the 31st night for home to allow them to celebrate the holiday, however, there is no order that will force it, this is sometimes is seen as an example of discrimination against Russian heritage (as on Sigd Ethiopian soldiers are entitled to have a vacation).
- Karen Petrone, Life Has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin, Indiana University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-253-33768-2, Google Print, p.85
- Igor Ebadusin - celebrations of Novy God within ex-USSR immigrants
- Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev
- ru:Новый год в России
- The Russians ain't celebrating [Silvester]
- explanation about what Silvester is on irrelevant
- request by Netanya's citizens that the city hall will fund the celebrations
- city hall protocol about celebrating the Novy God
- celebration in HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed The Federation of Working and Studying Youth
- A member of the Haifa municipal council has suggested that the city's annual `Holiday of Holidays' festival - which combines Hanukkah, Ramadan and Christmas - include Novy God, the Russian secular New Year holiday
- military police tested soldiers for alcohol consumption