By Cory Doctorow at 6:26 pm Tue, Dec 25, 2012
"Soviet Christmas card" sounds like a mere kitschy improbability, but what if I told you that they were space-race-themed Soviet Christmas cards? It's a Christmas miracle, dude.
Old Soviet Christmas card collection
(via Richard Kadrey)
They were New Year cards, obviously.
yup. Orthodox Christmas is on the 7th of January I believe and not much like the other christmases.
New Year’s though got the tree, Santa and the whole shebang.
To be a bit pedantic: That’s “Grandfather Frost,” not Santa.
(When I was maybe ten, the local Boy’s Club had a Christmas party with cartoons and short films. One of them was a Russian New Year’s cartoon. It was about a boy trying to get to Antarctica to visit his father, who worked at a scientific station. I don’t remember the details, but at one point Grandfather Frost shows up riding a rocket made of stardust.)
and he’s got a hot daughter named Snegurochka. But that’s besides the point.
No, that’s cool! There’s a little frost girl in this card:
Is that her?
(Edited from original reply)
С Новым годом is Russian for Happy New Year
С Рождеством is Russian for Merry Christmas
Looks like you are right.
I thought it might be for St Nicholas’s Day – a traditional present-giving day on 6th December.
Since 1920s Soviet state wanted to suppress celebration of Christmas, as it did with other religious holidays. New Year, on the other hand, was a neutral, officially accepted holiday, so it was a natural replacement. As a result, many of winter holidays’ attributes (Ded Moroz (Father Frost), fir trees, presents, postcards, decorations, etc) are primarily associated with New Year instead of Christmas in Russia and other post-Soviet states. It was forced decades ago, but now no one really remembers that and it has since became a tradition.
Christmas was never like western Christmas to begin with since Russia is primarily Orthodox and celebrates the birth of Christ on a completely different (more accurate) date and with different traditions.
The involvement of the state is somewhat overblown by western propaganda and few native soviets had changed their religious practices, in fact the Orthodox church has profited greatly even under Stalin (provided they didn’t question him).
The top image you posted has nothing to do with Christmas or New Year. It’s the East German Sandman.
and indeed the DDR Sandman pictured can be seen on TV daily at 7pm across Germany today.
Yep, I grew up with him being shown before and after the bedtime story on tv. The sandman arrived each time on a different type of vehicle, like the rocket above, then you had the tv program, and then the shorter animation where he threw the sand and left on whatever vehicle he had arrived with.
Der Sandmann was/is on West German TV too. The Sandmaenchen in space were featured in the film Goodbye Lenin
It’s true! We live in Berlin and watch the Sandmännchen every night before our son goes to bed.
What I find weird is they got the Vostok drawings right (even with the 3rd stage attached) but the subsequent spaceship drawings are completely fake or they’re not manned and I’m not familiar with them. Voskhod is nearly identical to Vostok visually and Soyuz is completely different so I guess there’s an interesting amount of misinformation going on.
In Soviet Russia, YOU greet cards, not other way around.
Alternative joke: In Soviet Russia, the hall marks YOU.
(Hey, it’s my birthday, and I’m stuck in a cubicle farm. Please laugh.)
I recall a “National Lampoon Radio Hour” sketch on “Christmas in Russia” or something like that that had the line:
“Of course, as a Communist country, Russia is officially atheist so Christmas has no more religious significance there than it does in America!”
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