Ded Moroz- Father Frost

January 1, 2014 at 7:59 am 1 comment

A Deeper Exploration of the Spirits of Winter discussed in my earlier post.

Summarized from Wikipedia

Ded Moroz- “Old Man Frost” more frequently translated as “Father Frost” is a  Russian personification of winter, with a long white beard and fur coat, who visits children to give them gifts.  He is often accompanied by Snegurochka (don’t ask me to pronounce that one!) the “Snow Maiden” said to be his granddaughter.

Because of the strong ties between the Romanovs and the Russian Orthodox Church, the celebration of Christmas was banned by the Soviets and instead Dred Moroz was promoted instead of St Nicholas, and he brought gifts on New Year’s Day. Of course, after the fall of communism Christmas came back, but Dred Moroz and his equivalents in other Slavic countries continued. In some countries he visits on New Years, in others Christmas.

It’s not clear if Dred Moroz owes his origins to an earlier Slavic god, but he was not invented by Soviet propagandists, but is part of native Russian folklore. However, before the 19th century he seems to have been a more sinister figure which makes sense considering this is Russian winter we’re talking about.

Snegurochka- the Snow Maiden may have been a literary addition- seeming to originate from a couple of fairy tales written in the late 1800’s.

Poking around here are some more links I found:

Why Ded Moroz is Infinitely More Badass than Santa Claus  Just a goofy blog post, but makes some good points

Ded Moroz vs. Santa Claus  an advertising art studio’s analysis of visual differences between the two

Residence of Ded Moroz & Snegurochka a tourist website’s description of the village where they are fabled to live. Interestingly it mentions Ded Moroz being a smith who chains water in river and lakes with “iron” frost. Smiths show up a lot in folklore and myth as having magical powers.

Father Frost, Snow Maiden Iced Out of Tajik New Year’s Celebrations In former Soviet-ruled Central Asian countries, that are predominantly Muslim there is some controversy over these customs.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Mythology. Tags: , , , , , , , .

‘Nuff Polytheist Street Cred? A is for Anthropology & Sociology

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Spirits of Winter | The Lefthander's Path  |  January 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

    […] Father Frost- Russian version of Old Man Winter, though he actually shows up in folk tales. It would be worthwhile to take a look at Russian folklore, the climate in some areas is certainly a lot closer to Minnesota’s! […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Calendar

January 2014
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Recent Posts


%d bloggers like this: