History of Santa Claus

Ancestral spirit (version number 1)

Santa Claus appeared here for a long time. This real-life spirit, welcome, by the way, to this day. Once upon a time, before the advent of Christianity in Russia, our ancestors believed that the spirits of the dead guard your family, take care of the cattle and the offspring of good weather. Therefore, in order to reward them for their care, every winter people gave them gifts. On the eve of the rural young people wore masks, turns coats and went from house to house caroling. (However, in different regions had their own features caroling). Gifts to the hosts of carols food. The meaning is precisely that of carols were the spirits of the ancestors who received the award for the constant concern over the living. Among Kolyado often had one "man", dressed all terrible. As a rule, he was forbidden to speak. This was the oldest and most formidable spirit, it is often referred to simply as Santa. It is possible that this is the prototype of the modern Santa Claus.

Just today, he certainly kinder and does not come for presents and bring them myself. With the adoption of Christianity, pagan rituals were, of course, "abolished", and therefore there are still Kolyada not represent ancestral spirits and heavenly messengers, that, you almost the same. Here it is hard to tell who is a Father, but "senior" is now.

Winter host (version number 2)

According to another version, the "great-grandfather" of the modern Russian Santa Claus was a hero of Russian folk tales, or Jack Frost Jack Frost, the owner of the weather, winter and frost. Originally it was called Santa Crackler and were a little old man with a long beard and severe cold as the Russian customs. From November to March Crackler grandfather was absolute ruler of the land. Even the sun was afraid of him! He was married to prezlyuschey Special — Winter. Crackler grandfather or Santa Claus was identified as the first month of the year — the middle of winter — January. Cold and students first month of the year — the king of frost, winter root, her sire. He is strict, icy, icy, snegoveev time. The people of January and say this: ognevik and jelly, snowman and Crackler, fierce and Lyutova.

Sharp temper

In Russian fairy tales, Santa Claus is portrayed as flighty, strict but fair spirit of winter. Remember, for example, a fairy tale "Jack Frost." Good hard-working girl-Frost frostbite frostbite, but then gave, as an evil so lazy — froze to death. Therefore, in order to avoid trouble, some northern nations and now cajoled old Claus — the solemn night drop over the threshold of their homes cakes, meat, pour the wine, so that the spirit was not angry, did not prevent the hunt, not ruining crops.


Santa Claus was presented as a gray-haired old man with a beard to the floor in a long thick coat, boots, hat, Gloves are, and with his staff, which he freezin people.


Say for sure where he lives Russian Santa Claus, it is difficult, because there are a lot of legends. Some argue that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, some say — from Lapland. One thing is clear, Santa Claus lives somewhere in the far north, where year-round winter. Although the tale of VF Odoevsky "Moroz Ivanovich" Jack Frost in the spring moves into the well, where "and summer studio."


V.M.Vasnetsov. The Snow Maiden (1899)

Later, Santa Claus appeared granddaughter Snow Maiden or Maiden, the heroine of many Russian fairy tales, snow girl. Yes, and Santa Claus has changed: he was to bring gifts to children on New Year and perform secret desires.
Maiden image unique to the Russian culture. In the Western New Year and Christmas mythology no female characters.

As can be seen, the origin of Russian Father Frost is fundamentally different from the European Santa Claus. If Santa Claus was a real historical figure, which for good works raised to the rank of the saints, the Russian Santa Claus — rather pagan spirit, the character of folk beliefs and fairy tales. Despite the fact that the modern image of Santa Claus has been formed under the influence of the European character of the New Year, most of the characteristic features of Russian left. To this day the Russian Santa Claus wears a long fur coat, boots and holding a staff. He prefers to travel by foot, by air or by sleigh frisky triple. His constant companion — granddaughter Snegurochka. Santa Claus playing with children in a game of "frozen", and hides in a New Year's Eve gifts under the tree.

Santa Claus and the ROC

The Russian Orthodox Church to Santa Claus is ambiguous, on the one hand as a pagan god and the magician, and therefore contrary to Christian doctrine, on the other hand, as a Russian cultural tradition. In 2001, the Bishop of Vologda and Veliky Maximilian said that the ROC will support the project "Veliky Ustyug — Homeland of Father Frost" only if Santa Claus will take baptism.

Mythological image

Who he is — an old friend and a good magician Russian Santa Claus? Our Frost — the character of Slavic folklore. For generations, the Eastern Slavs to create and maintain a kind of "oral chronicle": prose tales, epics, folk songs, legends and fairy tales of the past of his native land.

Eastern Slavs presented fairy-tale image Claus — the hero, the blacksmith, who holds down the water "iron frost." Frosts often identify themselves with violent winter winds. There are several folk tales, where the north wind (or Christmas) helps the travelers who have gone astray, leading the way.

Belarusian brother of Santa Claus — Zyuzya, or the god of Winter — appears as a grandfather with a long beard, who lives in the woods and goes barefoot.

Our Santa Claus — the image is different. It is reflected in the tales of the Ancient (Karachun, Pozvizd, Zimnik), Russian folk tales, folklore, Russian literature (a play by Alexander Ostrovsky's "Snow Maiden", a poem by Nekrasov "Frost, Red Nose", a poem VJ Bryusov's "King of the North Pole", the Karelian-Finnish epic "Kalevala").
Pozvizd — Slavic god of storms and bad weather. He had only to shake his head — on the ground felled large hail. Instead of carrying with him the cloak winds, with the skirt of his garment falling snowflakes. Pozvizd swiftly rushed to the heavens, accompanied by a retinue of storms and hurricanes.

The legends of the ancient Slavs there was another character — winter road. He, like Frost, was represented as an old man of medium height, with white hair and a long gray beard, his head uncovered, in warm white clothes and with an iron mace in his hand. Where it will be — wait for it brutal cold.

Among the Slavic deities stood out for its ferocity Karachun — an evil spirit, which reduces life. The ancient Slavs believed it underground god, command frosts.

But over time, Frost has changed. Severe, in the company of the sun and wind and walking across the ground frosts death encountered on the way men (in Belarusian tale "Frost, the Sun and the Wind"), he of the terrible is becoming a fair and a good grandfather.

Today the name of Santa Claus survived and some Western Slavic peoples, such as Bulgaria, his name is "Dyado Koleda" in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina — "Santa Mraz" in Slovenia — "Dedek Mraz" etc.

In Ukraine, the Santa Claus "trying" to oust St. Nicholas. For example, the article on Wikipedia states that archetype of Santa Claus is St. Nicholas was, but now we know that this is not the case — St. Nicholas can be a little brother, but certainly not the Father archetype. The author also justifies a return to Nicholas that in Soviet times, he was replaced by Santa Claus and now we need to come back again to Nicholas. Well, to each his own …

The face of Father

Let's try to identify the main features of the image of Santa Claus, as the relevant historical and contemporary notions about this fabulous magician. According to one of the researchers, the image of Santa Claus — the candidate of historical sciences, art historian and anthropologist Svetlana Zharnikova — traditional image of Santa Claus, according to ancient mythology and symbolism of color, suggests:

Beard and hair — thick, gray (silver). These details appearance, but his "physiological" sense (the elder — gray) are also a huge symbolic character denoting power, happiness, prosperity and wealth.Surprisingly, it was the hair — not only detail image endured for thousands of years no significant changes.

Shirt and pants — white linen, decorated with white geometric designs (symbol of purity). This part is almost lost in the modern concept of the suit. Artists as a Santa costume and prefer to close the neck performer white scarf (which is permissible). The pants are usually overlooked or sew them red-colored coat (a terrible mistake!)

Coat — long (to the ankle or lower leg), be sure the red, embroidered with silver (eight-pointed star, in single file, crosses and other traditional decoration), trimmed with swan's down. Some modern Theatres, alas, sin experiments in color and material substitution. I'm sure many have seen a white-haired wizard in blue or green coat. If so, you know — it's not Santa Claus, and one of his many "younger brothers." If the coat is short (shin open) or has strong buttons — before you suit of Santa Claus, Pere Noel or anyone else from foreign sister cities of Santa Claus. But the replacement of swan down on white fur, though not desirable, but still acceptable.

Hat — red, embroidered with silver and pearls. Trim (Hall) swan down (white fur) with triangular cut made on the front of the (stylized horns). Shape of the crown — semi-oval (round shape cap is traditional for the Russian tsars, just remember hat Ivan the Terrible). In addition to imposing the relationship to the color described above, the present theatrical costume jewelry and tried to vary the shape of the hat of Santa Claus. Characterized by the following "errors": the replacement of glass pearls diamonds and gems (acceptable), the lack of a cut-out rim (not desirable, but it is very common), the hat right semicircle (the Vladimir Monomakh).

Three-fingered gloves or mittens — white, embroidered with silver — a symbol of purity and holiness of all that he gives of his hands.Three-toed — a symbol of belonging to the highest divine principle since the Neolithic. What symbolic meaning are modern red mittens — is unknown.

Belt — White with red ornaments (link symbol of their ancestors and descendants, as well as a strong guardian). Today preserved as part of the costume is completely lost sense of character and a corresponding color. A pity …

Shoes — silver or red, embroidered with silver boots with a raised toe. Bevelled heel, small or absent. On a frosty day Santa Claus wears a white, embroidered with silver boots. White and silver — a symbol of the moon, of holiness, of the north, water and cleanliness. That shoes can distinguish a real Santa Claus from "fake". More or less a professional who plays Santa Claus will never leave the audience in the shoes or black boots! At the very least he will try to find red dancing shoes or ordinary black boots (which is certainly not desirable).

Staff — a crystal or silver "under the crystal." Twisted handle, just silver-white color scheme. Staff completes the crescent (a stylized image of the month) or bull's head (a symbol of power, fertility and happiness). These days it is difficult to find appropriate staff these descriptions.

Fantasy current decorators, their "creativity" is almost completely changing the state for centuries image of a popular pet. Imitation Overseas younger brothers, changing the sacred elements even in the garb of Santa Claus, the abundance impornoy ads with Santa Claus can play a cruel joke — the future generations of children, breaking away from their traditions, they shall know who is Santa Claus, and will only hang socks on the fireplace, which in Russia izrodya never done.

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