How Christmas trees were decorated in the USSR

In our country, the myth was spread that the Bolsheviks, after coming to power, banned the New Year trees. This is not entirely true. Christmas trees were banned during the First World War by Emperor Nicholas II. We remembered that this fun came to us from the West, so the trees were banned.

Only in 1935 the tradition was returned. In November of that year, the newspaper Pravda published an article by Pavel Postyshev, a candidate for membership in the Politburo. In it, the party leader recalled that before the revolution, only wealthy parents could afford to arrange New Year and Christmas holidays for their children with trees and gifts. Why not make this holiday public for all Soviet children?

Postyshev's proposal was considered reasonable at the top. A holiday is necessary for Soviet children, and let the New Year tree become a symbol of a happy childhood. But what about the decorations? Before the revolution, Christmas tree decorations had a clear religious connotation. However, they found a way out quickly: let the new decorations symbolize the Soviet system.

Already at the end of December 1935, the first line for the production of Christmas tree decorations was launched at the Moscow enterprise "Moskabel". The theme was extremely revolutionary: images of Lenin, Stalin and other leaders of the world proletariat. True, the production of such decorations was soon stopped: the phrase "Hang Stalin on the Christmas tree" cut the ears of Soviet citizens.

But they did not remain without work at the Moskabel: the figures of the leaders were replaced by planes, stratospheric balloons and tanks. And the top of the Christmas tree was crowned with a red star, instead of the biblical star of Bethlehem. In 1947, the citizens of the USSR received another gift from the authorities: January 1 was declared a non-working day.

During the time of Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, new symbols of the era appeared: New Year's toys in the form of corn and other vegetables and fruits, symbolizing the country's food abundance. In addition, Christmas tree garlands are beginning to come into fashion.

In the era of "dear Leonid Ilyich", foreign decorations appeared in the Soviet Union: New Year's toys made in the GDR. Gradually, Christmas tree decorations cease to be ideological: more and more often, Christmas trees are decorated not with symbols of the Soviet era, but with completely neutral animals, icicles and tinsel.

The Soviet Union is in the distant past. But, who, who was born in the era of the USSR, will not flinch at the sight of a New Year's toy from a distant childhood?