Friday, January 13, 2006

Old New Year

What is Old New Year?
Here in Russia it is another reason to get drunk, shoot off fireworks, dress up in costume, get drunk, shoot off more fireworks and holler out
"SNO-vim GO-dahm"
as loud as you can! Oh yeah, and maybe get drunk!

Why "Old New Year" ?
Here is info from the Russian Cuisine website:
The Romans began numbering years from the date when Rome was founded. After Rome was conquered by Egyptians, Julius Caesar introduced the solar year with an extra day every fourth year, based on a Babylonian model.
But then at 527 A.D. a Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus brought in the new years numbering as Anno Domini, starting from Jesus' birth. However, every 131 years the calendar would be off by one day since the distance the earth traveled around the sun grew shorter from 365.2422 to 365.2419 days.
Pope Gregory XIII commissioned, a friend of Galileo, Christopher Clavius to reform the calendar. And Christopher did it by using mathematics and astronomy to calculate the new calendar year. Unfortunately, his Gregorian reform was not accepted by the Orthodox Church which considered it as a Roman intrusion, and Protestant countries were reluctant as well.
England adopted the modern calendar only in 1751, and Orthodox Russia was forced to adopt the new changes when Bolsheviks came to power in 1917.
So Russians still celebrate Christmas on January 7th, and second New Year on January 13th.

Russian: С Новым годом!
pronunciation: SNO-vim GO-dahm!

Russian: Счастливого Нового года!
pronunciation: shchis-LEE-vah-vah NO-vah-vah GO-dah!

We went out to dinner tonight at Madyar with Dave and Shari. It is a very nice place and they usually require reservations. We found that we were able to slip in "if" we agreed to only stay for two hours. We didn't think much of it. But, we were asked again to remember that we could only stay two hours before we even ordered our food. Well, we sat down and ate then Dave asked for the check at about 8:15. At exactly 8:30 they cranked up the music and people started toasting. Then men dressed in costume came in and people started getting their pictures taken with these guys! Shari had her camera so she took a few pictures. I didn't take mine not knowing it was a holiday.

Shari will send us a copy of the photo. We are posing with one guy who kind of looked like a clown. And the other two were definitely dressed like women! That is part of the joy of being in another culture for New Year's. Shari said the best way to descirbe New Year here is "it's Halloween, Fourth of July and Christmas all rolled into one holiday."

That is exactly it... so SNO-vim GO-dahm everyone!


  1. SNO-vim GO-dahm to You!

  2. .....Nathan never tells me these things!


    *is keeping tabs on Nathan through his mom, which is a bit backwords from mothers keeping track of their kids through their friends. Ah, well.*