How the Soviets stole Christmas

How the Soviets stole Christmas, by Michael de Sapio.

When totalitarian regimes (particularly those of the Left) come to power, one of the first things they typically do is destroy hallowed cultural symbols, the better to remake society from the ground up. The Soviet campaign to replace the symbols of Christmas is an interesting cultural chapter in the history of what Ronald Reagan famously called the “Evil Empire”.

Following the Russian Revolution, the new atheist government began an anti-religious campaign. All symbols deemed religious and/or “bourgeois” were eradicated and replaced with new, secular versions.

Thus Christmas (which in the Russian Orthodox calendar occurs on January 7) was abolished in favour of New Year, and several traditional Christmas customs and characters received new identities.

St Nicholas/Santa Claus gave way to Ded Moroz or “Old Man Frost” (a popular figure originating in pagan times), and the new “nativity scene” featured him and his granddaughter the Snow Maiden in place of Joseph and Mary, sometimes with the “New Year Boy” added in place of Jesus. Christmas cards often featured Ded Moroz riding alongside a Soviet cosmonaut in a spacecraft emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.


(source: Byzantine, TX)

Such images seem laughable now, but the impulse to destroy tradition is part and parcel of radical social movements throughout history. Think of the French Revolutionaries, who replaced the Christian calendar with a naturalist one, and even renamed the months and the days of the week so as to avoid any possible reference to Christianity.

The PC crew are of course replacing “merry Christmas” with “happy holidays” and banning public celebrations of Christmas on their usual specious grounds. It’s really a power play.

Christmas however has returned to Russia, and the French use the traditional calendar again. PC nonsense shall also pass.

hat-tip Matthew