O New Year Tree! Kremlin’s festive icon selected in Moscow Region
The fir tree is more than a century old and is 28 meters high. This very tree was chosen for a special mission – to decorate Moscow’s main square at the Kremlin. A special committee was set up back in September to choose the perfect one for the occasion from among hundreds of trees from Moscow forests.
The festive ceremony was held with traditional Russian entertainment shows, including Father Frost – the Russian version of Santa Claus.
The longtime tradition of having a New Year tree dates back to the 18th Century. Russian Emperor Peter the Great was touring Europe as a young man, and there he picked up the tradition of having a Christmas tree. He adopted it in his country, which was then a religious Orthodox one, and in which Christmas was the main holiday.
In early 20th Century, the tradition was outlawed. When the Soviet Union was established, religion was abolished, and so was the tradition of having a tree.
It was not until the 1930s when trees made their way back to Russian households, but now mainly for New Year, which comes before Christmas in Russia.