Edit ModuleShow Tags

Russian Holidays and The Romanovs


Published:

Last year I wrote about how each country celebrates the holidays a little bit differently. The traditions I called out were quite pleasant—German children leaving out letters for Christkind, Australians gathering to sing carols by candlelight—but thanks to one of the newest exhibits at The Museum of Russian Art, Around the Tree: Holiday Traditions in the Soviet Era, I’m learning about the not-so-jolly times experienced during the season in Soviet-era Russia.

Can you imagine celebrating Christmas without a tree? Or, for that matter, not being able to celebrate the holiday at all? Under Communist rule in the late 1920s citizens were forbidden from doing so, as all religious holidays were abolished and trees became a symbol of anti-Soviet activity. In the mid-1930s when because of fallen birthrates Stalin’s policies became more focused on family and children, former holiday traditions were reborn as factories began producing ornaments, tree toppers and figurines of Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden. One notable difference was that without religious association, the Christmas tree was now the New Year tree.

Liturgical vestment worn at the coronation
of nicholas II, 1896, Silver and gold embroidery,
Burgundy velvet, 60x62 in., Work on loan from
the foundation of Russian History, Jordanville,
NY, Loan arranged by The Museum of
Russian Art, Minneapolis

The exhibit gives you a glimpse into this time, showcasing artwork and historical artifacts including more than 20 paintings by notable Soviet artists, antique ornaments, masks and more that reflect the traditions of the New Year celebration.

After learning about that part of Russia’s history, make your way to the museum’s other new exhibit, The Romanovs: Legacy of an Empire Lost, to learn about the 300-year reign that started with 16-year-old Mikhail Romanov. Dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the dynasty, the exhibit, which opens November 16, offers an overview of the multifaceted history, focusing on the tragic end in 1917-1918. You’ll see historically significant objects, photographs, paintings, works on paper and books, many of which are being displayed for the first time.

*Note: The Museum is closed through November 15 for exhibit installation.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Summer Camp For Food-Loving Adults: Chef Camp

Book a north-woods excursion that challenges your culinary creativity among fellow foodies and big-time local chefs

New Features at TC Pride All About Inclusivity and Keeping the Peace

Dancers holding off protesters, a space for those with autism, and more

OXBEAUX Gets Cozy Before Eaux Claires Festival

The OXBEAUX Block Party offered an intimate pre-festival experience for nearly 2,000 guests featuring music from The Shouting Matches, Field Report, and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent Minnesota Journeys Posts

Summer Camp For Food-Loving Adults: Chef Camp

Book a north-woods excursion that challenges your culinary creativity among fellow foodies and big-time local chefs

New Features at TC Pride All About Inclusivity and Keeping the Peace

Dancers holding off protesters, a space for those with autism, and more

OXBEAUX Gets Cozy Before Eaux Claires Festival

The OXBEAUX Block Party offered an intimate pre-festival experience for nearly 2,000 guests featuring music from The Shouting Matches, Field Report, and more

Award-Winning Author Channels Northwoods in New YA Book

Minnesota native Margi Preus explores familiar scenes and events in her new mystery novel for young adults

New Hotel Lands on Lake Minnetonka

Lakeside hospitality returns after more than 50 years with the arrival of Hotel Landing
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags