Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grandfather Frost

Today being the first official day of winter, I'd like to talk a little about Grandfather Frost, or Ded Moroz as is his name in Russian. He went from being a personification of winter in old folktales to being a sort of Russian Santa Claus. He is typically shown wearing a fur hat, high boots, and carries a long staff that holds the power of the cold. Instead of bringing presents at Christmas, however, he comes at New Year's, and he is accompanied by his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden; the presents are left under a decorated tree. He was condemned by both Imperial and Soviet Russia, but was so popular he was brought back in the mid-Thirties; Josef Stalin, however, declared he could only be depicted wearing blue robes, so he would not be confused with Santa Claus. More often called Father Frost in the West (for the alliteration), he bears some resemblance to both Jack Frost and Old Man Winter.


Anonymous said...

He is also the star of many beloved Rakinov /Bassikov stop-motion animated specials authorized by Premier Leonid Breshnev in the late 60's/early 70's.

Brer said...

I believe you mean Yankin-Tchayn.