Christmas in Russia: Christmas under Communism
The Communist party, which came to power in 1917, opposed religion and religious holidays. The new Soviet government also adopted the Gregorian calendar already predominant in the West. Since the Russian Orthodox Church stuck with the old Julian calendar, this meant that Christmas now fell on January 7 and Epiphany on January 19. Although the Communists did not close all of Russia’s churches, government officials often persecuted those who dared to attend religious services. Religious and folk celebrations of Christmas were suppressed and the day was no longer a legal holiday.