Santa Claus - it's probably the most famous character in ancient Slavic mythology.He rides a trio of horses with a bag of gifts, that presents to good children on the New Year's holidays, he is accompanied by the charming granddaughter, his long white beard, red nose and his staff, and he was welcome in every home.Today, it is the same essential attribute of the New Year as a tree and fireworks, and it seems that it has always been.In fact, Santa Claus, as we know it today, is relatively recent, although his whole story began long before in Russia there were the first Christians.
According to the earliest known sources in the eastern Slavs Santa Claus was the epitome of strength, potentially dangerous to humans;Historians compare him with winter road and some other deities, which is identified with the cold and strong winds, able to deprive people of the crop and, therefore, the means of subsistence.The Slavs did not consider a good Santa Claus - they believed he could, f
Gradually, however, his image has changed considerably, and over time the character of Santa Claus looked like a St. Nicholas, which is a prototype of Santa Claus.Later, the character has suffered a series of transformations - is due to the literature rather than the national myth-making, and by the end of the nineteenth century, Santa Claus finally turned into a kind grandfather who gives gifts to children at Christmas and New Year.
After the revolution
Immediately after the October Revolution, the people who celebrate the Christmas holidays began to blame for excessive religiosity, which in the new state was not to be the place.In 1928, Santa Claus began to consider other kulaks, priests, and other unwanted elements.However, in 1935, the tradition of celebrating the winter holidays began to recover, but now the main holiday of the New Year began, not Christmas.In 1937, New Year's Eve, in the House of Unions, was introduced Santa Claus.Historians have noted that he was wearing a blue and white dress on the orders of senior management of the country - that in his appearance was as little resemblance to the "bourgeois" Santa Claus.Around the same time the granddaughter of Santa Claus - The Snow Maiden, also became mandatory guest at the New Year's holidays.By the way, the ancient Slavs a character like Snow Maiden, it was not;It found no mention of the granddaughter of Santa Claus, and any other of his relatives.Her image appeared in Russian folklore only in the nineteenth century, and it became Santa Claus accompanied already in the Soviet Union.
Gradually, Santa Claus became popular in other regions of the Soviet Union - Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, the Baltic states, and so on.These characters - Santa Claus or one - appeared in many Soviet films and cartoons, which had an impact on the further formation of their images.
Today, Father Christmas holds a special place in the hearts of people in Russia and in the entire post-Soviet space.He, along with the Snow Maiden, comes to visit the millions of children each year, gives gifts and a holiday atmosphere.On the streets of Russian - and not only - the city on the eve of Christmas and New Year, you can see hundreds of Santa Clauses: for many people, the tradition of inviting holidays bearded grandfather with gift bag is a temporary source of income.
In 1999, the city of Veliky Ustyug on the initiative of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov declared the birthplace of Santa Claus.There was a wooden tower of Santa Claus in the style of old Russian architecture, which is currently one of the main attractions of the city.The number of tourists who annually visit the Great Ustyug, 1998 increased several times, which is important for a small town.From 2003 to 2010, the official mailing address of Santa Claus has come about two million letters from children not only from Russia but also from many other countries.Since 2005, began the tradition every November to celebrate the eighteenth birthday of Santa Claus - usually about this time in the town of Veliky Ustyug begins significant cooling - Santa Claus comes into its own.
The ancient Slavs were Santa Claus tall, slender man with a long white beard, but he was dressed in traditional Slavic clothes worn by ordinary people - belted shirt, pants and sandals.As soon as his image has changed, approaching the contemporary, he had the long robe of red cloth, trimmed with fur and embroidered with gold, red cap and the staff.Vehicles Santa Claus sleigh and started three horses.
In Soviet times, Santa Claus began to dress in blue or blue clothes, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union it is possible to see both the red and blue suit.However, the canonical Santa Claus still wears red clothes, in contrast to her granddaughter, which traditionally appears in a pale blue sundresses or coats.Maiden also dressed in bright high boots, hat or kokoshnik.Her age has changed over time: in the first years after the Maiden became the assistant of Santa Claus, she was a little girl (no older than 10-11 years), but now it is usually presented in the form of a young girl.