Old new year -- Russian second New Year holiday

Yes, we've got two. The first one is on the January, 1, as it might be expected, and the second one is today, on January, 14. Or, rather, on the night between 13 and 14 of January. How's that? The problems began in the 1582, when European countries (well, some of them) began the calendar reform, adopting the Gregorian calendar. The reform moved the days' count backwards for ten days. By the beginning of XX century, most of them reformed their calendars. Except for... Well, you understand :).

By that time, the difference between Julian and Gregorian calendars reached 13 days. So, Russia celebrated the New Year (and Christmas, and other holidays) 13 days later than all other countries. In 1918, at last, the new calendar came to Russia. One of those things we can thank Lenin for. But the Russian church didn't accept this new godless idea and they still live according to the old calendar and celebrate all holidays 13 days later. This controversy was a source of many problems. For example, my grandmother was born on August, 2, 1913, but when should she celebrate her birthday? Our family celebrates both.

This night, January 13-14 is often seen as a strange one, a little bit magic, when anything may happen, when memories, which seemed to be long forgotten, come back to mind, when old friends re-appear. Perhaps, this magic dizzyness is why some over-patriotic politicians came up yesterday with a weird idea to return to the good ol' Julian calendar. What for? Some hard-core orthodoxes insist that the Julian calendar is more correct than the Gregorian (they use the sydereal year to prove their point), but the real reason seems to be very simple: to emphasize the differences between Russia and Europe, to harden the psychological barrier between 'us' and 'them', to increase the isolationism. Frankly, I don't think they'll succeed, so idiotic is the idea.

Who celebrates the Old New Year? Russians, no matter if they are religious or not. Many people in ex-Soviet republics (in Baku, for example). And, funnily enough, North African Berbers :)

Happy New Years!

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