The tradition of celebrating Russian ‘Old New Year’ came from the old calendar used in Russia prior to the Revolution. This year, the exclusive and unique Russian Old New Year Gala Dinner took place in the magnificent surroundings of Guildhall, in the centre of London. A spectacular venue for the evening, Guildhall has been a centre of pageantry, colour and ceremony for over 800 years.
The dinner was held in conjunction with the annual Russian Winter Festival, organised by Eventica and Russian-British Cultural Association, which took place on Trafalgar Square on Saturday 13th January The Gala Dinner, on the eve of the Festival, was a star-studded evening of entertainment featuring the participation of celebrities, leading representatives from the Russian and British business community and key players from Government, media and the arts – all providing an ideal opportunity to combine business with pleasure.
Proceeds raised during the Gala Dinner supported the construction fund for “Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs”.
Over the past years guests at the ‘Old New Year’ Gala Dinner included: Yuri Luzhkov, Mayor of Moscow; Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; HRH Prince Michael of Kent; Irina Kudrina, founder of one of the Festival charities, Northern Crown; Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom; Len Blavatnik, Chairman, Access Industries; Roger Munnings, Chairman, KPMG CIS; Maxim Shostakovich, conductor; Dmitry Peskov, Deputy Press Secretary of the Russian President; Sir Andrew Wood, former British Ambassador to Russia; Igor Finogenov, Member of the Board, Nomos-Bank; Stephen Webster, Designer; Donatella Flick; Lady Aliai Forte; Dmitry Bertman, Artistic Director, Helikon Opera; Alina Kabaeva, Russian Olympic gymnastics champion; Andrei Malakhov, TV presenter amongst many others.
Eventica celebrated Russian Old New Year 2011 with the return of its much-loved Russian Old New Year Gala, which took place this year in the magnificent Plaisterers Hall in the City of London. The New Year is Russia’s biggest festive celebration. Commemorating the New Year according to the pre-revolutionary calendar, Russian Old New Year is rich in history, fascinating traditions and entertaining customs. While the rest of the world is back at work soon after 1 January, the people of Russia get to celebrate all over again with Russian Old New Year on the night of 13 January.
The Russian Olympic Committee were welcomed as guests of honour at the event. The evening followed the theme of ‘sporting triumph’, and we were delighted that Paul Deighton, CEO of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) entered into the festive spirit of the evening, by welcoming guests to London and wishing them a Happy New Year.
The charity auction, conducted by Adrian Biddell of Sotheby’s, raised an impressive £22,000 for a Team Russia/Russian Paralympic Committee initiative to bring children living with disability from Russia to London for the Paralympics.