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Реферат: New Year

New Year is the principal winter holiday, as opposed to Christmas.It is universally recognized as such by both secular and religious people.Whereas New Year is mostly an occasion merely for parties and drinking in theWest, most of the traditions associated with Christmas fall on New Year inRussia. The welcoming of the new year is considered the most significantoccasion of the winter.

The New Year's tree is identical to a Christmas tree in the West. Itis decorated in the same way, with ornaments, lights and garland. Stars areusually perched atop the tree rather than angels, and ornaments of a religiousnature as well as nativity scenes are notably absent.

Folklore holds that Ded Moroz («Grandfather Frost») ischarged with the responsibility for delivering presents on New Year's Eve. Heis a large, bearded and grandfatherly man resembling Santa Claus, although hehas no saintly identity, nor sleigh nor reindeer. He is sometimes said to bedressed in blue rather than red — this is a point of contention. Either way, heemerges on New Year's Eve with a gargantuan, overflowing sack of gifts anddispenses them to each family. The actual procedure of doing this is not a significantcomponent of the mythology; he doesn't come down the chimney, but it doesn'treally matter how he gets into your dwelling. Perhaps through the front door,perhaps through the window — who knows?

Instead of elves to help him, Ded Moroz has his grand-daughterSnegurochka («Snowy»), with whom he lives somewhere in the northernforest. Snegurochka is generally portrayed as an attractive young blonde girl,often dressed in light winter attire and sometimes a red cap. Presents are alsogiven on New Year. There is no requirement of waiting until the morning of NewYear's Day to open them; instead, they are usually presented and opened shortlyafter greeting the New Year at midnight.

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