CORNCOBS TO COSMONAUTS: REDEFINING THE HOLIDAYS IN THE SOVIET ERA
Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, the anti-religion Bolsheviks discouraged Christmas and New Year celebrations in the U.S.S.R. since the gift giving and extravagance that accompanied the holidays came to symbolize the greed and excess of the aristocracy and bourgeois classes. The tradition of celebrating Novy God (New Year) re-appeared in 1935 as a secular holiday that would symbolize Soviet children’s prosperity and happiness.
This exhibition of more than 150 Soviet-era ornaments, together with holiday toys, books, and cards showcase a variety of non-religious objects that were important to both the average Russian citizen and the Soviet state. These include folk heroes and cartoon characters, funny clowns and chubby babies, state emblems and objects that celebrate the productivity of farms and factories. Click here for a printable flyer.