Wednesday, December 15, 2004

S'novim Godim!

Moscow is ablaze with decorations--Grandpa Frost and Snow Princess riding in troikas, giant evergreen trees sparkle with blue lights at major intersections, shops and businesses atwinkle with tinsel and flashing displays.

Also, lots of roosters, chicks, and even little bunnies, as well as babushkas selling dead branches that bloom when placed in a vase of water.

New Year, seems to be a secular Christmas and Easter combined. The Russian calendar takes from the Orient as well as the West--the coming Year of the Rooster is of Chinese origin--and one becomes aware that Eurasia is not just a figure of speech, but a real place, where East and West (contrary to Kipling) meet. For example, Moscow has so many seasonal displays because it is required by law. Shops and businesses that don't put up a holiday bush or colored lights by December 1st are subject to a fine. Which makes for some interesting sights. Such as the Tsimmis Shtetl-themed Jewish restaurant (it has a kosher kitchen) featuring two Christmas trees (Hannukah bushes?) at the entrance--one inside, and one outside...

Happy Holidays!