On the 20th December 1699 Peter the Great issued a decree that changed our calendar forever. It specified that the New Year would be celebrated on the 1st January from then on, and never on the 1st September as before, and that the year will strictly follow the Julian calendar. The story has it that when non-believers pointed out to him there’s no way God would create the world in the middle of winter, Peter the Great showed them a globe and explained to them that Russia does not represent the whole world, and when it is winter in Russia, there is always summer somewhere else on Earth. He declared that we should congratulate each other on the first day of the year and to celebrate it with “a fir tree, pine and juniper branches”, too.
So come to our next tasting at THE PUSHKIN HOUSE WINE CLUB on Wednesday, the 9th January, 19.00-21.00, to find out how Russia celebrated that first New Year when Peter the Great introduced the Julian calendar. Since only the best will do for the Tsars, you’ll be able to taste Harrods charcuterie, cheese and some Russian cake. And as usual, someone will go home with a prize wine after winning the mini-quiz.