We Decorated the New Year’s Tee

We take out a box with New Year’s treasures from the cupboard or from the shelf every year in late December. We look into it and our hearts sink expecting the meeting with a miracle. New Year’s Day! The most magical holiday! Adults and children equally like and look forward to it. Presents and congratulations, Father Frost and Snow Maiden, a beautiful New Year’s tree and, of course, decorations are indispensable attributes of the holiday. You take bright glass baubles, cones sparkling with hoarfrost, lanterns gleaming with different colours, and bright tinsel with unconcealed trepidation and tenderness and hang them on the New Year’s tree in a particular, traditional for your family, way. All these decorations will create festive spirit during two weeks. But the New Year’s tree ornaments are not just nice things, they can tell the history of the country. Events of the past were always reflected in them.

First New Year’s tree decorations were edible. People adorned the New Year’s tree with apples, gilded nuts, garlands and lanterns in the middle of the 20th century. Favourite baubles remind us of that time. Biblical subjects were very popular because it was the Christmas tree that was embellished before the revolution. After 1935, it was adorned with red five-point stars and figurines of pioneers. As for “military” trees, there were figures of soldiers, tanks, pistols and dogs-nurses on them.

Ornaments made of bugles were in demand after the Great Patriotic War. Hollow beads were connected with a thin wire and decorations of geometric shape – stars, ships and planes – were formed. Besides, cotton wool, paper, clay and tin were used to make ornaments. Some of them were created on pins.

Figurines of cosmonauts and earth-circling satellites, decorations on the agricultural subject, such as egg-plants, tomatoes, marrows, kidney beans, peas and maize, could be seen on the New Year’s trees in the 1960s. But within the next decades, design of the ornaments became less diverse. New Year’s tree decorations were manufactured in large amounts. Plants mechanically produced similar series of balls, cones, pyramids, icicles and bells. In the 2000s, original hand-made decorations became popular: figures of straw, paper, skeins of wool, pieces of cloth and so on. Author’s ornaments are widespread at present. Baubles with hand-made painting, wonderfully created winter landscapes are produced now. Everybody has a favourite New Year’s tree decoration. We take it with a special feeling because our childhood memories and the delicate feeling of happiness are connected with it.

The New Year’s collection of the museum includes articles of different decades of the 20th century: New Year’s tree decorations, carnival costumes, masks, figures of Father Frost and Snow Maiden. Many of them were donated by residents of Kirillov. The decorations of the 1950s were handed over to the museum by the Centre of Children’s Creative Activity and the largest golden apple was presented by Irina Nikolaevna Nesterova. The museum hold an action titled “New Year’s tree decoration” in 2007. Pupils of the 4 “A” form under the direction of Irina Borisovna Panina took an active part in the event and gave 50 ornaments dating back to the 1970-1990s to the museum. The collection was considerably replenished in 2009 when another action was organized. Employees of the museum also joined it. There were very valuable exhibits among new decorations: an airship with the inscription “USSR”, a glass samovar, and ornaments on the pins of the 1950s.

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