The other day, on the central German TV channel, they said that this year almost all the children of the world wrote in the list of desired gifts from Santa Claus “take away the coronavirus, let everyone be healthy.” The baby’s soul believes in fairy tales and magic. Do we believe in miracles in our life? Have we ever thought about where Santa Claus comes from?
It turns out that each country has its own Santa Claus, with its own characteristics and traditions. Please note that all Santa Clauses come one at a time, logically, they are single male bachelors, and only Finnish is married. But the Russian Santa Claus is one of a kind appears with his granddaughter Snegurochka. I wonder where he was doing with his wife – the mother of the Snow Maiden?
Our “Russian” grandfather Frost migrated to modern times from the distant past, from pagan times. It is difficult to say unequivocally where the Russian Santa Claus lives, since there are a lot of legends. Some argue that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, others from Lapland. One thing is clear, Santa Claus lives somewhere in the Far North, where winter is all year round. Unlike Santa Clauses of other countries, “our grandfather” can appear in not only red, but also painted blue or silver caftan. The rest of the “Santas” wear a red long caftan or a short one, but also with red pants.
Once upon a time, even before the advent of Christianity in Russia, our ancestors believed that the spirits of the dead protect their family in order to reward them for their care; every winter people gave them gifts. On the eve of the holiday, the village youth put on masks, turned out sheepskin coats and went home, caroling. Among the carollers there was often one “man” dressed the most terribly of all – a grandfather with a beard in a caftan. In some countries, local gnomes are considered the ancestors of Santa Claus. Others include medieval wandering jugglers who sang Christmas carols, or wandering sellers of children’s toys.
In Germany, the prototype of the Moroz Case or “Vainakhstaman” was a very real person. In the IV century, Archbishop Nicholas lived in the Turkish city of Myra. According to legend, he was a very kind person. So, once he saved three daughters of a distressed family by throwing bundles of gold through the window of their house. After the death of Nicholas, they were declared a saint. Nicholas became an object of veneration and worship of Christians from around the world. In Germany, on December 6, St. Nicholas goes from house to house and gives children gifts, albeit small ones such as nuts and tangerines, sweets. However, only to those who behaved well all year.
In ancient Germany, the image of “Nikolaus with rods” was used for “naughty” children. Nikolaus himself is not to blame for this, he was a very kind person. So do not confuse the real prototype of the German Nikolaus and the fictional Santa Claus – “Weinachtsman”, which also comes to the children of Germany, but already on Christmas Eve – December 24th. He secretly puts gifts under the tree or throws them, flying on a sleigh across the sky – on the balconies and courtyards of houses where the kids live. Children await Christmas with trepidation, and only growing up, they begin to understand that the image of Santa Claus hides the kind hearts of their parents, who gave them gifts every year.
In English speaking countries – England, America, Australia – this is Santa Claus… Gray hair, a neat beard cropped short and a mustache. Red sheepskin coat, pants and a cap. A dark leather belt with a buckle wraps around the thick belly. Thin white gloves. Often wears glasses. He smokes a pipe (although lately he has been trying not to “press” on this element of the image), travels through the air on reindeer, enters the house through the chimney and tosses presents into shoes and stockings left by the fireplace. The children leave milk and chocolate chip cookies for him. Usually one appears, but gnomes and elves can accompany. The name “Santa Claus” first appeared in the press in 1773. In Australia, since the climate does not allow to wear a fur coat, Santa appears in a red bathing suit-overalls, but always in a hat with fur.
Sinterklaas from Holland – a winter wizard, a lover of seafaring, because every year on New Years and Christmas he sails to Holland on a beautiful ship.
Brother of Santa Claus in Italy – Babbe Natale… An Italian winter wizard comes to every home. He does not need doors – he uses the chimney to descend from the roof into the room. In order for Babbe Natale to eat a little on the way, children always leave a cup of milk by the fireplace or stove. Gifts for children in Italy are given by a kind fairy La Befana, and mischievous people get coal from the fabulous evil sorceress Befana. In her appearance, she resembles Baba Yaga from Russian fairy tales, but unlike Baba Yaga, Befana is terrible on her face, but kind inside. So Befana hints to girls and boys: remember, did you behave well last year, did you upset your parents?
Finnish Santa Claus is Joulupukki, living in the mountains. The name of this winter wizard is translated as “Christmas grandfather.” The house of Joulupukki stands on a high mountain, and his wife, good Muori, also lives there. A family of hardworking gnomes help with the housework of Joulupukki. Joulupukki himself wears a jacket made of goatskin, a wide leather belt, and a red cap.
In Greece and Cyprus – Santa Claus is called Vasily. Children sing a song: “Saint Basil, where are you, come, Saint Basil, give happiness, fulfill all my desires.” Here the prototype of the Christmas saint is Basil the Great of Caesarea, the younger contemporary of Nicholas. Saint Basil turned out to be Christmas for the reason that his memory is celebrated by the Greek church on January 1st. In the guise of the modern Greek St. Vasily has many features from his western counterpart. He is portrayed as an old man with a white beard, who travels around houses and gives gifts to children.
Pere Noel – brother of Santa Claus from France… Literally “Père Noel” is translated as the father of Christmas. He comes along with his old grandfather Shaland. Noelle gives gifts to good children, and Chaland uses rods for naughty children. To placate Shaland, children should sing a song in honor of his arrival. In France, Christmas is not a very family holiday, and most people celebrate it with friends in clubs, restaurants, loud music, champagne, etc.
In Sweden and Denmark, as in France – two Santa Claus: stooped grandfather Yultomten (Yolotomten, Yul Tomten) is a little old man who lives in the forest and rides in a cart pulled by foxes. He is assisted by a dwarf with a Yulnissar beard. Both of them are kind and leave gifts for the kids on the windowsills for the new year.
In Norway gifts to children are made by some Nisse (To Jolinisse) – cute little brownies. Nisse wear knitted caps. And they also like tasty things (sweet oatmeal and a piece of butter). Even though the Nisse are caring protectors of the home, they are very vindictive – from spoiling livestock to destroying the entire farm. And if he wishes, he can become invisible. Loves attics and cupboards with dishes. Friendly with pets. Later, the image of Nisse was transformed into Santa’s Christmas helper. At the head of the Nisse clan is the son of that Nisse, who first gave two silver coins to a little girl more than four hundred years ago.
And it was according to legend: one Nisse accidentally saw a girl who put a bowl in the snow on Christmas Eve so that Nisse would leave some food for her. Nisse put two coins in the bowl. And then he liked this idea so much that every year he began to give the children coins and sweets. It is Nisse who helps to choose the best spruce, worthy to decorate the whole city! They climb to the top of the most beautiful tree and swing on it until people pay attention. These are the hooligan habits of the Norwegian New Year heroes.
In Finland, Santa Claus – Joulupukki… “Youlu” means Christmas, about “pukki” – goat, that is, Christmas goat. The fact is that many years ago, Santa Claus wore a goat skin, and delivered gifts on a goat. Gray hair, a neat beard and mustache. Red jacket, pants and cap. Dark leather belt. Necessarily – glasses. He lives on Mount Korvantunturi (“mountain-ear”), either in a hut or in the mountain itself. Together with his wife Muori (Maria) and the dwarves. In ancient times, on Christmas Day, he went from house to house and treated obedient children and punished the disobedient (for which he carried rods with him). Subsequently, the educational moment was omitted.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia – grandfather Mikulas. The magician comes on the night of December 5-6, on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. Looks like our Santa Claus. Long fur coat, hat, staff, with a spiral top. Only now he brings gifts not in a bag, but in a back box. Yes, and it is not the Snow Maiden who accompanies him, but an angel in snow-white clothes and a shaggy imp. Mikulas is always happy to present good and obedient children with an orange, apple or some kind of sweetness. But if a potato or a piece of coal was found in the “Christmas boot” of a hooligan or a loafer, then this is definitely the work of Mikulas.
In Lithuania – Senelis Shaltis (Elder Frost). In Kazakhstan – Ayaz-ata, the literal translation sounds like Grandfather Frost. IN Uzbekistan – “Corbobo”. To the delight of the children, on New Year’s Eve, he drives into the villages on a donkey, himself in a striped robe, in a skullcap.
Be that as it may, the fairy tale on the eve of the New Year has firmly infiltrated our lives. May everyone’s innermost desires come true at this wonderful time, regardless of which country we live in, and in which caftan Santa Claus will come into our lives. And let it be the main gift – good health, love and joy in every home.
Germany says this:
The Center for Reproduction, Family Planning and Endometriosis in Offenbach invites you to an online evening
Germany will pay basic pension from 2021
Germany will increase the minimum wage in 2021, including for apprentices and interns
Two-thirds of German citizens are optimistic despite the coronavirus crisis