"Three centuries of the Russian Christmas tree" Automatic translate
с 1 Декабря
по 31 Января
Дворец царя Алексея Михайловича
Проспект Андропова, д. 39, стр. 69
On December 1, Kolomenskoye will open the exhibition Three Centuries of the Russian Christmas Tree. The exposition in the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich brought together about 1000 exhibits telling about ancient traditions and rituals associated with the New Year and Christmas from the beginning of the 18th century to the first quarter of the 21st century.
The custom of celebrating the New Year on January 1 with the usual Christmas tree, masquerade, fireworks and a magnificent feast dates back to the reign of Peter I. The exhibition presents a unique document - a decree of December 20, 1699, written by the emperor himself, from the collection of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts… Before the calendar reform set out in the decree, the chronology was dated from the Creation of the world, and the day of the "new year" fell on September 1 and was celebrated in Russia primarily as a church holiday. By order of the king, the celebration of the New Year was postponed to January 1 and, following Western European traditions, was accompanied by illumination, "decoration from trees and branches of pine, spruce and juniper" and lush festivities.
In the minds of most people, Christmas, celebrated in the old style on December 25, remained a sacred holiday, the first in importance throughout the entire 18th century. The celebration of the New Year was of a secular nature and was one of the events in a series of Christmas festivities, gradually occupying an increasingly important place.
The tradition of putting a Christmas tree decorated with toys in homes for Christmas conquered Russia gradually, throughout the 19th century.
To a large extent, this was facilitated by the royal family - Emperor Nicholas I and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. From childhood, she saw decorated Christmas trees in Prussia and began to introduce this custom at the Russian court. According to some historians, it was in the Moscow Kremlin in 1817 that a Christmas tree was first arranged in the home quarters of a grand ducal family in the Small Kremlin Palace. According to others, the first Christmas tree was installed in the Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg on December 24, 1819. In the 1820s and 1830s, Christmas trees were already erected in the imperial family every year, and this tradition gradually won the hearts of the entire population of both capitals and provinces. The exposition includes greeting cards of the imperial family, invitations and menus for dinners in honor of Christmas and New Year celebrations of different years,provided by RGADA and the State Archives of the Russian Federation.
By the end of the 19th century, the Christmas tree decorated for the holiday had already firmly entered the everyday life of the inhabitants of Russia. Evidence of this can be found in the memoirs and memoirs of many famous people of that time - writers, artists, poets and public figures.
The exposition presents Christmas tree decorations of the XIX-XXI centuries: both well-known and widespread, and rare, stand figures, gifts. Particular attention is paid to the themes of the festive feast, old New Year’s traditions and rituals of pre-Petrine Russia, which were very popular among the common people: songs, dances, fortune-telling, caroling, replacing the more ancient pagan sacrifice customs.
For the first time, the Moscow public will be able to see the works of the original Russian artist and sculptor Efim Chesnyakov (1874-1961), whose creativity peaked in the first quarter of the 20th century. The exhibition shows several of his works, including the painting “Festive Procession with a Song. Kolyada "from the collection of the Kostroma Museum-Reserve.
The roots of New Year’s traditions are diverse: Christian, antique, Germanic, Scandinavian, Slavic and others, they are all connected in New Year’s celebrations extremely closely, into a single complex and create an integral image in which the New Year tree is immediately recognizable, no matter how it looks. Traditions continue to live and change, so the history of the New Year holidays is far from complete.
Project participants: 16 state collections - MGOMZ, Russian Ethnographic Museum, Novgorod State United Museum-Reserve, Kostroma State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Rostov-Yaroslavl Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Uglich State Historical and Architectural Museum, State Museum of Oriental Art, Museum-Reserve "Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda", Museum-Reserve "Dmitrovsky Kremlin", Yegoryevsk Museum of History and Art, Moscow Regional Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, Museum "New Jerusalem", Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Library, the Russian State Library of Arts and six private collections.
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