Today Russians celebrate a rather interesting holiday. It is not marked in any single calendar. Every Russian however does celebrate this holiday with pride. This is Old New Year.
This tradition is deeply rooted in the past. It concerns the Julian calendar, which had been used by Russians up until 1918. It is precisely on this day that Russia celebrates January 1, 2004.
In the old days, people used to refer to this day as Vasilyev Day, in memory of St. Vasily the Great who lived in IV century. A marvelous theologian, he also possessed a rather extraordinary education. One of his most famous works is “Conversations on the sixth day” about the world's creation. St. Vasily's interpretations of the Bible text are being confirmed by scientific discoveries after many centuries have elapsed.
The name “Vasily” means “royal” in Greek. That is why many Russian princes were named Vasily. St. Vasily was Vasily's III (father of Ivan the Terrible) guardian angel. A church of St. Vasily used to be situated at the heart of Moscow up until 1930s. It was located on the corner of Tverskaya and Vasilyevskaya (hence the church's name) streets.
Many countries consider St. Vasily to be a national hero. In Cyprus, for instance, he substitutes Grandfather Frost (famous Russian Ded Moroz).