Thursday, December 29, 2011

Russian New Year: "Yolka"

We have a lot of Russian friends in Berlin and one of them invited us to the traditional "Yolka" celebration. "Yolka" is the word for Christmas tree in Russian. (It can also mean fir tree depending on the context.) As I mentioned in this post, holiday trees and presents in Russia are given at New Year's and not connected at all with Christmas. However, because Christmas is huge in Germany, a Russian-speaking organization in our neighborhood, Karussel e.V., puts on a the "Yolochka" just before Christmas rather than at New Year's.

Having just been to Russia in November, my daughter was thrilled to be going! Children usually wear costumes for the celebration and my daughter wanted to go as "Snegurochka" ("Snow Maiden"), the granddaughter of Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost", the Russian version of Santa Claus).

Braiding the hair is an important aspect of any event for little Russian girls . . .

In the Snegurochka outfit, sitting on the front row, waiting for the theatre piece about Ded Moroz. (Of which she didn't understand more than a handful of words!)

Ded Moroz and Snegurochka leading the children in a dance around the Yolochka. Notice that Ded Moroz's hat is flat on top and does not have the pointy tip and pom-pom that Santa's has.

Enjoying the goodies from Ded Moroz!

С наступающим Новым Годом!
Happy New Year!
Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr!

1 comment:

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