Friday, January 4, 2013

Red Christmas

As the story goes, we have Bulgakov's The Days of the Turbins to thank for Stalin reviving the tradition of Christmas trees in the Soviet Union.  Stalin was big fan of Bulgakov, protecting him from critics and making him  the director's assistant at the Moscow Art Theater, which Bulgakov had great fun with in Black Snow.  Bulgakov never got along with Stanislavsky.  Anyway, Stalin sanctioned the first Soviet tree in 1937, a 15-meter tree unveiled at the Hall of Columns in Moscow's Trade Union House, capped by a Soviet red star.

Ornaments during Stalin's time tended to be ideological and also marked key events like the signing of the Yalta agreement.  It was only after his death that one saw more festive ornaments to choose from.  We still have a few from this latter period.

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