No Ukrainian should have a Soviet-style New Year’s tree

This Soviet stamp is another example of falsifications by the Soviet state propaganda machine. Under the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union, after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet anti-religious campaign. It took 20 years, before the Soviet communists supplanted the tradition of the Christmas tree by the New Year's tree (in 1937), meanwhile the founder of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin died thirteen years earlier (in 1924).

This Soviet stamp is another example of falsifications by the Soviet state propaganda machine. Under the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union, after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet anti-religious campaign. It took 20 years, before the Soviet communists supplanted the tradition of the Christmas tree by the New Year's tree (in 1937), meanwhile the founder of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin died thirteen years earlier (in 1924). 

2016/12/26 • Analysis & Opinion, Culture, Ukraine

Many Russians still view Pavel Postyshev (1887-1939) as their favorite Bolshevik because of his role, as the author of a letter to Pravda on December 28, 1935, calling for the introduction of new year’s trees as substitute for Christmas trees that the Bolsheviks had banned [Pravda – (“truth”) was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and served as the conduit for announcing official policy — Ed.].

Indeed, Postyshev’s idea, which spread rapidly across the Soviet Union, brought a dash of color and occasion for happiness in the otherwise drab and depressing world of Stalin’s times and is remembered with fondness even now when it is possible to celebrate Christmas without state interference.

To this day, some view it as a way that Christmas was covertly kept alive and even suggest that was Postyshev’s purpose. Like many in the Stalinist guard, he came from an Old Believer background and would have had experience in coming up with ways to remember the faith without calling attention to it.

But most remember it as the mark of a happy occasion when people could exchange come together for celebratory meals and exchange presents, a truly secular Christmas not all that different from the one that unfortunately many people around the world mark in our increasingly irreligious time.

For one nation in the former Soviet space, however, new year’s trees because of Postyshev’s involvement in promoting them should be anathema. Ukrainians know that Postyshev played a key role in implementing the Holodomor, Stalin’s terror famine that killed millions of their co-nationals.

Consequently, as Ukrainians move away from the Soviet past – as when they tear down statues to Soviet leaders or introduce Santa Claus in place of Grandfather Frost – they should dispense with yet another symbol linked to those who did everything in their power to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • zorbatheturk

    Is there anything the Soviets didn’t steal?

    • Turtler

      Success.

      • Oknemfrod

        Well, they’ve been very successful at stealing virtually everything, including the success itself. Remember how they ascribed the success for the industrialization and winning WWII all to themselves?

        • Turtler

          A fair point, though I also remember them losing half of the factories in their European portion when the Reich and its’ allies rolled East. And in the end in spite of their eventual bloody victory on the Eastern Front they failed in Stalin and Lenin’s overall goal to bring teh revolution to the entire world.

          They’ve been better at stealing credit for success than success itself. As “their” space shuttle designs show.

    • Dirk Smith

      Prosperity.

      • Oknemfrod

        They stole that, too, – from their own people.

  • freedom fighter

    what’s a soviet style new years tree?)))))))
    that’s some dictator type of article though lol….

  • freedom fighter

    well then ukraine should not have anything of soviets anyway, meaning everything u got from it give it back…like the outline of the ukraine before ww2, i mean it became little bigger
    after the war right?)))) yap it sure did……even crimea was given to ukriane, and ukrane has
    lost it, forget about everything else, i’m sure current government will sell it with no problems, but the outlines of ukraine must change….call it final decomunization and deUSSRization.
    naa sain son? and that’s how we do it aki….