On December 15 (by the Julian calendar) of the year 7207 since the creation of the world or 1699 A.D., in the Kremlin the town criers shouted to the top of their lungs to spread the order by Tsar Peter I “to stop fooling people from this day onwards.”
This laudable intention of the ruler, however, did not refer to politics or economy, it concerned the calendar only. After December 31 of this year 7207, the order said, would be January 01, 1700 and it should be considered the beginning of the year rather than September 01. “To mark kind intentions and joy I thereby order everyone to congratulate each other on the New Year and wish prosperity and well-being in the family. In honor of the New Year fir trees shall be put in the houses. Adults shall abstain from drinking and punching – other days shall be enough for that.” The latter point is definitely true; however, abstaining has remained problematic since.