Russia’s New York Celebration in September

by Slava Tsukerman

A wide celebration of the New Year took place on September 14 in Arkhangelsk, the chief Northern seaport of Russia and the administrative center of so-called Pomors’ Region.

New Year in September? Why?

Pomors is a nickname of Russians who live in the far North near the shore of the White Sea. Originally, in the 10th-12th centuries, the term Pomor meant “a person who lives near the sea”. The old Russian traditions have been surviving in the area much longer then in the rest of Russia.

Starting from 1492, Russia celebrated New Year in September as the state holiday. The years in the Russian calendar, as well as in the Jewish one, were counted from the Creation of the World. This year by that old Russian calendar is the year of 7522. Peter the Great introduced to Russia the Western model of the celebration of New Year on January 1.

However, Pomors kept the old Russian way of celebrating New Year long after the Peter’s reform.

After Perestroika in 2001 the local Pomors’ authorities made a decision to renew this tradition. Over the past few years, the holiday has become one of the attractions of the Pomors’ Region.

This year crowds gathered on the northern waterfront to celebrate the New 7522 Year with the traditional songs, rites and performances.

Many of the rites are obviously rooted in the pre-Christian era.

The northern white nights end by the end of August in Pomors’ Region.  It becomes difficult for fishermen who are returning from the fishing grounds to navigate in the dark. The tradition of lighting the beacon on the water with the approach of autumn has its roots in antiquity.

Here is the video showing the New Year festivities in Arkhangelsk.

[youtube 5ROhnt-GJqc]

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Updated: September 24, 2013 — 7:55 am
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