Old New Year

The old new year is the strangest and most confusing Russian holidays.

The night from the 13th to the 14th of January is called Old New Year. Russia began to celebrate New Year on January 1 in 1700 by decree of Peter I, and to celebrate the Old New year began in 1918. The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian Calendar.

The Gregorian calendar was established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Russia was one of the few countries that refused to change to the Gregorian calendar, and continued to celebrate all its holidays as before, according to Julian calendar, which was 13 days ahead of the Gregorian (European). Russia’s “Old” New Year is celebrated on January 14th according to the Julian, or Orthodox, calendar.   

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