I am interested in how Christmas was celebrated prior to the communists over running Russia. Was the yolka put up prior to Christmas (7 January) or the New Year (13 January)? Did church services start late in the evening and go in to early morning or did they stop at a certain point and resume in the morning?
It seems that Russians today celebrate 'two Christmases', one on 25 December and the other on 7 January. I assume this is a result of the ban on Christmas during the Soviet era as it would not seem appropriate to celebrate during the Nativity fast. My understanding is that the Julian 'old' calendar was used for even civil purposes prior to the communist take over, so New Year would have been after the Nativity any how.
In a nut shell, I am simply wanting to know what the practices were prior to the revolution and subsequent practices.