New Year tree

New Year tree

New Year trees are decorations similar to Christmas trees that are displayed in various cultures, but should not be confused with a North American practice of not removing a tree until New Years; such a tree is still considered a Christmas tree.


Russian and Turkish traditions

A New Year tree is the Russian and Turkish equivalent of Christmas trees. A spruce tree is most usual type of tree used and the variety of tree sorts and decorations used is the same as for Christmas trees. The economic advantages of Russian and Turkish North Americans following such a practice are notable due to prices of Christmas trees plummeting after Christmas.

History of the Russian New Year tree

The tradition to install and decorate a Ёлка (pr: Yolka, tr: spruce tree) dates back to the 17th century when Peter the Great imported the tradition from his travels of Europe. However, in the Imperial Russia Yolka were banned since 1916 by Synod as a tradition, originated in Germany (Russian counterpart during World War I). This ban was prolonged in the Russian SFSR and the Soviet Union until 1935 (New Year tree was seen as a "bourgeois and religious prejudice" until that year).[1] The New Year celebration was not banned, though there was no official holiday for it until 1935. The New Year's tree revived in the USSR after the famous letter by Pavel Postyshev, published in Pravda on December 28, 1935, where he asked for installing New Year trees in schools, children's homes, Young Pioneer Palaces, children's clubs, children's theaters and cinema theaters.[2] In 1937, a New Year Tree was also installed in the Moscow Palace of Unions. An invitation to the Yolka at the Palace of Unions became a matter of honour for Soviet children[citation needed].

History of the Turkish New Year tree

A Turkish new year tree, in Turkish Yılbaşı Ağacı, is the same as Christmas trees with Christmas knick-knacks on it. It is called a New Year tree because it is special to the New Year, and that as 95% of population is Muslim, Turks do not celebrate Christmas. The New Year tree can be considered an example of westernised Turkish culture or Turkified European culture[citation needed].

After modernisation of Turkey, the Islamic calendar and fiscal calendar were replaced by the Gregorian calendar, and New Year celebrations started in late 1920s. The celebrations became very popular in Turkey and Christmas trees were brought into Turkey as New Year trees. Since that, the habit of setting a New Year tree for the New Year is a traditional event in Turkey. It is usually set up between 15 December and 15 January, the mid date being New Year's Eve. Also, the habit of giving presents at Christmas has been changed to New Year presents in Turkey[citation needed].

Vietnamese custom

A small hoa mai tree decorated for Vietnamese Tết

Planting an old Year tree or cây nêu is also a Vietnamese custom which is part of the springtime Tết festival. Often a bamboo pole serves as the "tree".

Hoa đào (in Northern) or Hoa mai (in Southern) and kumquat trees are also decorated and displayed in Vietnamese homes during Tết.

See also


  1. ^ (Russian)Fir Markets
  2. ^ (Russian)Legend of a man, who presented Soviet children with New Year's tree

External links

Tree icon.jpg Trees portal

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