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MOSCOW, December 30. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Several former Soviet republics want to change the Soviet tradition to celebrate the New Year after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported.
The Muslim states have the most hostile attitude to the holiday. The Islamic Party of Azerbaijan urged head of the Caucasus Muslim Directorate Sheikh Allahshukur Pashazade to take the measures to avoid the festive events on December 31. The Islamists have motivated their appeal by the fact that the day of the death of Prophet Muhammad is marked on December 31 this year. “We believe that the day of the death of the Prophet is marked as the day of national remembrance. On this day holiday shows will be restricted on the TV channels and much air time will be given to the prophesies and the talks of theologians with people,” the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan said in a statement. Meanwhile, the Caucasus Muslim Directorate did not comment on this appeal.
Similar reports had been coming from Tajikistan, Central Asia, before. The Father Frost and the Snow Maiden were banned to show on the television in the country. These fairytale characters were completely dropped from the New Year programs of state-owned TV channels. The country’s incumbent authorities explained the ban by the fact that these fairytale characters as the New Year Tree do not have direct bearing on national traditions. The New Year parties with the Father Frost and the Snow Maiden were banned to hold at many secondary schools in the country.
Meanwhile, the opinion poll showed that 82 percent of people in Tajikistan are going to celebrate the New Year all the same. Only two percent from those who are not going to celebrate this holiday named it as that contradicting the Islamic traditions. Four percent of respondents said that the New Year does not match the national traditions. Three percent of pollsters noted that they just do not have enough money for celebrations and seven percent of respondents could not answer the question.
This holiday is celebrated in Tajikistan on March 21. The opinion poll was conducted on December 12-21, 2013.
The New Year was celebrated broadly in Tajikistan in the Soviet times, but in the last few years the country’s authorities suggest that the Muslims would better celebrate the International Day of Nowruz. This holiday is celebrated in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan on March 21
The Baltic states also have an equivocal situation over the New Year celebrations. The New Year was the main holiday in Lithuania actually for 40 years from 1950 to 1990 and the situation had reversed after the Baltic republic had regained its independence. Presently the country’s president delivers a national address celebrating the country’s population on Christmas, but not New Year. The New Year is just a day-off at the state level in the country now.
In Estonia, the Russians celebrate the New Year and the Estonians celebrate the Catholic Christmas. It is noteworthy that the Russians celebrate the New Year twice. At first they see in New Year on Moscow time and then on the local time. Many Estonians go to bed without waiting for the midnight.
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