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November 14, 2017

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Christmas Tree in the USSR

October 23, 2017

2017 marks 100 years anniversary of Russian Revolutions. Christmas Ornaments Fair collection of vintage ornaments specializes on the most important USSR tree decorations.  

In Pre-Revolutionary Russia most of the ornaments designs were simply copies of the German decorations. 1917 Revolutions redesigned social classes hierarchy. It was indeed only the bourgeois tradition to decorate a tree, but was foreign for the new ruling class. In 1929 the anti-religious propaganda became indeed aggressive, the Soviets banned any Christmas celebration as there was no place for Religion nor the bourgeois lifestyle. However in 1936 the tradition of the Christmas tree was restored in the USSR under the name of a "New Year Tree". The tree was brought back as a festive fun for children. Christmas ornaments since them are called in Russian "New Year tree toys" empathizing they are children's objects. Glass ornaments cottage manufacturers by then vanished and big factories were not able to immediately supply the demand for decorations. Traditional cotton batting decorations received a new life and role. It was decided on a national level (by a special "Institution For The Toy"!) which ornaments from the past would be recreated and which would not be included in the Soviet New Year celebrations. Brand new designs were created to deliver the "right" message to Soviet people. The star on the top of a fir tree became Red. 


The reason why the USSR-era Christmas decorations are collectible today is that they reflect the whole new empire ideology and its cultural heritage. Among these figures were ice skaters, skiers, polar explorers, rose-cheeked children, animals and characters from favorite fairy tales.


In 1961 USSR sent the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. This significant event affected all visual arts, including Christmas tree ornaments production. This year Christmas Ornaments Fair and Pop-Up Museum in Henley-on-Thames will display the largest in the UK collection of cosmonauts ornaments produced in the 1960's USSR. You will also be able to see the incredible variety of original tree decorations produced in the USSR.

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