A Fir Tree Was Born In the Wood (В лесу родилась ёлочка, 1972) by Boris Butakov

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A Fir Tree Was Born In the Wood
A Spruce Was Born in the Forest
В лесу родилась ёлочка
V lesu rodilas yolochka (ru)
У лесе нарадзілася ялінка (be)
У лісі народилася ялиночка (uk)
Cây thông mọc trong rừng (vi)
森林裡有棵聖誕樹,或一棵聖誕樹在森林裡誕生了 (zh)
森林里有棵圣诞树 (zh)

Year 1972
Director(s) Butakov Boris
Studio(s) Ekran
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Christmas/New Year
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:06:26
Wordiness 8.48
Animator.ru profile Ru, En
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The film is based on a very famous Russian Christmas poem, which was composed in 1903 and adapted into a song two years later.

It was also one of the most performed children's songs on the Central Television of the USSR.

Unlike in the original song, there is a happier ending for the tree.




I tried posting this film on several sites. Indeed, it has a very good effect, so unexpectedly good. Not only because the song is so famous, but the story is also very pure.



For East Asians, who follow the lunar calendar (太陰曆), it is only December of the old year. The first day of the new year 2024 is February 10. However, the number 2024 is according to the new calendar, because if we follow the old calendar, it will now be more than 30 thousand years since Mesopotamia began to have a state. In fact, Asian people were very undeveloped in mathematics, so astronomical knowledge was completely learned from Persia but through India.

As we all know, the Middle East and Greater India are tropical areas, winter temperatures are even similar to summer, so the image of the moon is associated with night when the weather is cool. Lunar night is considered the most beautiful moment (read One Thousand and One Nights), while the sun is often associated with evil (this is also understandable). Indian legends often tell and retell events related to the war of the moon against the sun, but through everyday images. For example : The peacock princess was kidnapped by an evil eagle and was saved by the prince, one bright moonlit night - suddenly a demon came to swallow the moon (well, it is also possible that Hohol's The Night Before Christmas originated from this story)... Some ancient Chinese texts even tell of a king who shot 9/10 suns with his bow & arrow and then married a beauty ; but because of his one mistake, she was locked in a palace where was called as the moon. In the epic of an ethnic minority in the Central Highlands of my country, there is a tribal hero who wanders around the world hoping to capture the sun goddess as his wife. That is the reason that in modern slang, many men flatter their wife by calling as "my sun goddess" (nữ thần mặt trời của tôi).

The Vietnamese New Year festival is called as "Tết Nguyên Đán" (元旦節, "festival of the first day"). If we follow traditional conventions, we only have three days off to clean the house for the New Year and welcome guests. However, that is because in ancient times life was less busy and work did not force people to move much, so that was enough. After the Vietnam War ended, life was moving faster and faster with industrialization, so three days was not enough for persons from far away to reunite with their families, so initially the government allowed people to take a week off. However, as the 1990s and 2000s progressed, more and more persons joined the industrialization mechanism, even having to move by train and plane continuously, so the parliament proposed two weeks, plus including holidays (that is, if a New Year's Day coincides with a public holiday, the holiday will overlap with the following days). I haven't mentioned one problem, at a time when Covid is very serious, the New Year holiday schedule for children and civil servants is up to two months, making many persons feel very uncomfortable.

In the past, the New Year festival was an opportunity for families to reunite, worship ancestors, visit the graves of the deceased and visit other families to give blessings. However, now Vietnamese people are increasingly bored with it. In Southern Vietnam, where there is a strong influence of Catholic culture, the New Year festival exists almost exclusively in families of Chinese or Northern Vietnamese origin. In Northern Vietnam, in recent years, the Southern trend has also been spreading. Why so ? The problem is, industrial society has "invaded" respectful lifestyles. If I come to bless you, of course I will have to give your children [and your parents] a red envelope (hồng bao). Red is inherently the color of luck, but inside the envelope there must be money. When I was very young, the economy was still poor, so "celebrating the new age" (mừng tuổi) like that was only an estimate, but today it is a terrible burden. Such blessings have become a form of bribery, influence and even corruption. Because there have been officials prosecuted for receiving New Year's gifts worth millions of dollars. That's why the trend of "escape from the New Year festival" (trốn tết) is increasingly flourishing. Many families have chosen to travel during the first days of the year to avoid that terrible money cycle.

Every year-end, I see my parents preparing a new stack of money. It's simple because, the more relationships you have (relatives, friends, partners), the more money you have to spend ; furthermore, celebrating a new age with old money is highly undesirable. Therefore, every fall, banks issue new money for people to exchange old money. But Lunar New Year is just one of many "festivals" in a year, if you know about the gold-plated moon cakes every Mid-Autumn Festival. There is even another form of bribery, which is stuffing gold rings into festival cakes. The quality of the cake is very bad, but the filling is not bad at all, right ? All in all, that's why I love festivals from the West so much : Gentle, cozy and very fun.


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