First public Christmas tree stood at Zero Point

First public Christmas tree stood at Zero Point

December 25, 2022

According to the Norilsk residents’ memoirs, the first festive tree installed for the townspeople on the street appeared on December 30, 1939.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Christmas tree was placed in front of the first school building, not far from the Zero Point, which in those years was the public center of Norilsk.

Later, the New Year celebration site moved to the skating rink: at first, the Christmas tree was placed on one of the lakes in the Old Town. For example, in 1942, the Komsomol members met at the skating rink, where decorated with illuminated Christmas trees were set and an amateur brass band played.

Then the city tree moved to the first Norilsk stadium – Dynamo. Snow sites in the current sense – with ice statues and slides – were not built at that time. Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden, deer and squirrels statues, as well as New Year decorations, which would now be called the first photo zones, were placed under the fir-tree.

At that time, Christmas trees in the houses of the Norilsk people and on the streets were alive. They were harvested in places specially designated for logging in the vicinity of Norilsk.

In the 1940s, up to a thousand firs and larches were cut down for each holiday, which were brought to the city on horseback and sold to the townspeople.

It’s not a surprise that the number of coniferous trees around the city was rapidly decreasing. By the end of the 1940s, harvesting of Christmas trees by private individuals was banned, and by the end of the 1950s, it was completely canceled. The fine for the violator was 100 rubles or a whole month of working without salary.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that in 2001 Norilsk became a closed city, and this was approved by the majority of Norilsk residents.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

December 25, 2022

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