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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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    Russian embassy hosts New Year photo exhibition

    Lyna Mohamad

    The Russian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam hosted a photo exhibition yesterday dedicated to the New Year celebrations in Russia, where New Year has become a special celebration in the country.

    Diplomatic Corps representatives and the public were enlightened by Russian holiday’s story and traditions, which are quite different from most of the world.

    Charge d’Affaires (ad interim) at the Russian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Andrey Mamaev presented the details of the occasion and exhibition.

    Mamaev said, “What sets our new year celebration apart from other countries goes back to the history of the holiday as Russia only joined the European tradition of celebrating New Year on December 31 in 1700, following a decree by Emperor Peter the Great.

    “Initially Russians celebrated New Year on March 1, before the new season of agricultural works.

    Charge d’Affaires (ad interim) at the Russian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Andrey Mamaev shares details of the exhibition to Diplomatic Corps representatives and patrons. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

    “However, despite the will of the Emperor, Russia, who at the time functioned according to the old Julian calendar invented by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, did not fully synchronise with the rest of Europe, while most European countries had already switched to the Gregorian one.

    “Hence, new year festivities in Russia began 14 days later and the next two centuries, the New Year and Christmas celebrations in Russia were similar to those in Western Europe with the only difference was only in the religious form.”

    He added, “There is also one informal but widely known holiday, which is the Old New Year where Russians celebrate it on January 13 as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar.

    “According to this tradition, people should keep the New Year tree at the house until then, meaning the Russian New Year’s celebrations last for two weeks.

    “Like other countries, New Year is a public holiday in Russia and every city has its special festivities including concerts for kids, performances and different holiday fairs.

    “The streets are decorated with fir trees and lights, particularly colourful celebrations are held in Moscow and Saint Petersburg,” said Mamaev.

    Mamaev also said that the important part of the celebration is the president’s speech, which begins five minutes before midnight where the president highlights events of the year, achievements and hopes for a better future.

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