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Under the rule of the Soviet Union, Russians were dissuaded from practicing their traditional Orthodox religion with its gala Christmas traditions. Thus, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day became the biggest and most festive holidays for most Russians. This "New Year's Eve Boy" is ready to celebrate with his colorful ethnic attire, animal helpers, toys and fir trees. He even boasts a set of the traditional nesting dolls in the pocket of his bright vest! Bundled up against the cold as if he's heading to Siberia, the boy has donned a thick cap with long earflaps, red gloves, and fur boots with beautiful border trim. Russians used a different calendar than the rest of the Western world until February 1918. Centuries earlier, they had refused to abide by the Roman calendar, considering it an intrusion on their traditions and faith. Their old system of dates, called the Julian calendar had Christmas and New Year's taking place 13 days later than the Gregorian, or European calendar. The Orthodox faith still celebrates the holidays using the Julian schedule. Ever resourceful and ready for a party, many Russian families celebrate Christmas both on December 25th and January 7th, with two New Year's celebrations taking place on January 1st and 13th respectively!
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