New Year is the focal point of winter festivities in the Soviet Union and every year the country's capital gets ready to celebrate the occasion.
GV AND LV Pine trees and snow in Red Square, Moscow (3 shots)
LV ZOOM OUT 1977 slogan on GUM store with decorated tree outside and shoppers
CU Shoppers passing decorated windows (3 shots)
SV AND LV EXTERIOR Tree nursery (2 shots)
CU People buying trees
CU Shoppers in streets (2 shots)
SV PAN Decorated tree and shoppers in Gorki Street
CU PAN Clock and decorations inside store
SV AND CU People buying decorations (4 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: New Year is the focal point of winter festivities in the Soviet Union and every year the country's capital gets ready to celebrate the occasion.
SYNOPSIS: There is a good deal of snow in Red Square although this year winter in Moscow has been rather a mild one, with an average temperature of minus two degrees Centigrade (28 F). The GUM department store -- opposite the Kremlin -- is well prepared to welcome the New Year as crowds of shoppers indulge in their seasonal buying spree.
Over 200 markets have been set up all over the city to sell New Year trees and hundreds of lorries are busy delivering fresh supplies from nursery plots outside Moscow. Some 570,000 trees are expected to be sold before New Year's eve.
There are more decoration in Gorki street, one of the capital's main thoroughfares.
The huge "Detski Mir" -- Toyland - department store with its 500 counter serves a crowd of more than 400,000 shoppers every day. Some three million of them are expected to visit the store before the old year end.
It was over 200 years ago that Peter the Great put an end to the Russian tradition of celebrating New Year on the 1st of September, marking the end of the harvest. Later on the German custom of a decorated tree was adopted in the Soviet Union - as almost everywhere else in the world.