Happy New Year 2023: Russia

№ 2022-121/5 — November 7, 2022
№ 2022-122/5November 7, 2022
№ 2022-123/5 — November 7, 2022

In Russia, New Year is a a much bigger holiday than Christmas. Since Christmas in Russia falls on January 7, most people work until December 30 without any particular interruptions, except for New Year corporate parties – корпорати́вы [kar-pa-ra-tée-vy] – which are organized by companies for their employees.

Schools also hold New Year parties. A typical celebration in a kindergarten, for example, usually takes place in the morning and is called у́тренник [út-reen-neek], from the word у́тро [út-ra], meaning “morning”. In regular schools, depending on the age of the children, a celebration can be organized in the evenings.

№ 2022-124/5November 7, 2022
№ 2022-125/5 – November 7, 2022

In late December, people begin to congratulate each other C наступа́ющим! [s nas-tu-pá-yu-scheem] which literally means “with the upcoming”, i.e. “Happy upcoming New year!”

Because of the ban on Christmas which existed under the Soviet regime, the traditions of Дед Мороз [ded mo-roz] — the Russian version of Santa Claus — and gift-giving are associated with New Year for the Russians, not Christmas. Ded Moroz does not usually come alone, but with his granddaughter Snegurochka. There are special services that book a home visit of Ded Moroz and Snegurochka so many parents do that for their children and Ded Moroz will bring gifts chosen by the parents.

№ 2022-126/5 – November 7, 2022
№ 2022-127/5 – November 7, 2022

The 31st is usually a non-working day (unless you are a supermarket employee) and is spent in preparation for the celebration. There are New Year shows and movies on TV all day. One annual show is called “Ирония судьбы или С легким паром!” (“Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath!”). This is an ironic and romantic comedy the plot of which also takes place on New Year’s Eve.

It is customary to meet the New Year clean and well dressed. Russians believe in the saying “as you meet the New Year, so you spend it”. Therefore, on the 31st, the whole day Russian hostesses cook and make sure that their houses are clean to meet the New Year in all their glory.

№ 2022-128/5 – November 7, 2022
№ 2022-129/5 – November 7, 2022

The typical New Year’s dishes for Russians are Olivier salad, herring under a fur coat, and many other different salads, which are made in such volumes that one can happily eat them a couple of days after the New Year’s feast. The typical garnish are potatoes which can be mashed or just boiled. The most iconic fruit for the New Year is the mandarin orange. During Soviet times, it was almost the only fruit that could be bought at this time of year.

№ 2022-131/5 – November 7, 2022

Russians will sit down at the table somewhere around 11 PM and first see the old year off. There are eleven time zones in Russia, and each of them meets the New Year in its own time. The President’s New Year’s address is usually shown at 23:50; it is pre-recorded and repeated to viewers in each time zone.

№ 2022-130/5 – November 7, 2022
№ 2022-132/5 – November 7, 2022

Immediately after the President’s New Year’s address, the clock of the Moscow Kremlin begins to chime and this is transmitted on TV throughout the nation. The clock will beat 12 times during which the tradition is to take glasses of champagne and make wishes that should come true next year. The New Year starts at the moment the clock starts chiming and the moment after the 12th beat means that 1 minute of the New Year has already passed. The raising of glasses and declarations of “Happy New Year!” start to sound only after the 12th beat.

№ 2022-133/5 – November 7, 2022
№ 2022-134/5 – November 7, 2022

Fireworks are organized to begin in most cities at 2a.m. after the midnight celebrations have wound down. The holiday continues until January 8 when Russians return to school or to their jobs.

№ 3013. Happy New Year! Hare — December 15, 2022
№ 3014. Happy New Year! Hut — December 15, 2022

The Russian Happy New Year stamps for 2023 were issued on December 15, 2022. There are two designs resulting from a competition and one stamp originally issued in 2015 but with a new overprint and surcharge. According to Russia Post’s philatelic division, Марка (Marka),

New Year is a magical and the most beloved holiday filled with family traditions, kindness and comfort, the citrus and pine scent, with cheerful talk and songs, delicious dainty dishes and drinks on the table. In the last days of December, each house turns into a winter fairy tale, decorated with festive balls, wreaths of fir twigs, cones, small lanterns and snowflakes.

JSC Marka with support from the Moscow Branch of the Union of Artists of Russia and the Union of Philatelists of Russia held the All-Russian competition of drawings of a postage stamp and a greeting card for the New Year and Christmas for professional and amateur artists. The jury of the contest consisted of professional artists, graphic artists and designers, members of the Union of Artists of Russia. In total, the competition organizers received 308 competitive artworks performed in various techniques: graphic design, watercolor, oil, pencil drawing, etc. The winners drawing contest were Svetlana Chernykh and Polina Mitroshkina.

The 19-rubles postage stamp features a drawing of a New Year Tree toy Hut by Svetlana Chernykh. The 27-rubles postage stamp features a drawing of a hare in a winter forest by Polina Mitroshkina.

№ 3015. Happy New Year! (overprint of a new face value 48 rub and an additional image on the stamp №2049) – December 15, 2022

Postage stamp No. 2049 of 2015 features a winter panorama of the Moscow Kremlin and a surcharge, and the margins are embellished with a snowflake design.

The 19-ruble stamp was designed by M. Korneyeva. It has regular water-activated gum and was printed in sheets of nine stamps using offset lithography on chalk-surfaced paper. The stamp measures 37 × 37 mm (full sheet is 131 × 138 mm) and is comb perforated 11¼. There were 27,000 sheets printed for a total of 243,000 stamps. In addition, there were five thousand sheets (45,000 stamps) printed with holographic foil.

№ 3014-I. Happy New Year! Hut with foil — December 15, 2022

K. Betredinova designed the 27-ruble stamp which is self-adhesive with die cut perforations of 11¼. The stamps measure 37 x 37 mm while the sheets are 152 x 152 mm. They were printed using offset lithography in a quantity of 39,000 sheets or 351,000 stamps.

Stamp № 2049 of 2015 was originally designed by O. Savina while the overprint design was by M. Miloradova. The chalk-surfaced, offset-printed stamp was overprinted with a new denomination and additional image on the stamp and on the margins of the sheet using silk screen printing. It is comb-perforated 13½ and measures 65 × 32,5 mm (the full sheet is 160 x 160 mm) with 48,000 stamps (6,000 sheets) overprinted.


First Day Covers

First day covers for this issue are available with postmarks from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Belgorod, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Penza, Perm, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-on-Don, Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, and Simferopol in occupied Crimea. The size of the envelope for the official covers is 114 × 162 mm.

Postcards & Maximum Cards

There were 7,000 postal cards printed using the Hut design, measuring 148 x 105 mm, and 8,000 cards with the Hare design with a size of 105 × 148 mm. These were available bearing the appropriate stamp to create maximum cards with postmarks from the same cities as for the first day covers listed above.

Souvenir Packs

There were two souvenir packs produced for this issue. The first was printed in a quantity of 1,100 and included:

  1. stamp №3013 “Happy New Year! Hare”;
  2. stamp №3014 “Happy New Year! Hut”;
  3. FDC with cancellation in Moscow “Happy New Year! Hare”;
  4. FDC with cancellation in Moscow “Happy New Year! Hut”;
  5. vignette.

Five thousand copies of the second souvenir pack were made containing the sheet of stamp №3014-I “Happy New Year! Hut” with a holographic foil.

The greetings cards illustrated at the head of this article — 14 in all — were all released by Russia Post on November 7, 2022, designed by several in-house artists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.