I do not know about you, but I was always intrigued by the two Christmas characters: Santa Claus and Santa Claus. Externally - completely similar to each other, having the same function - to give gifts to children, they are actually very different. Santa Claus secretly crawls into the pipe and trying to no one noticed shove gifts in the pre-cooked socks and shoes and as quietly climbs to the roof. Santa Claus has the habits of public policy. He forces himself to wait and a call after three in the big room, where he immediately became the center of attention. Children dance around the drive, and then line up and get out of the bag their gifts. In addition, Santa Claus is constantly accompanied by the girl at least three times his age. Can you imagine Santa Claus with a girl? I'm not. With him travel only little elves.
The "Santa Claus»
In search of the answer I had to do a little historical investigation, which was marked by shocking results. The fact is that before the revolution, Christmas and New Year did without Santa Claus and certainly without the Snow Maiden. They were dressed Christmas tree, angels with a star on a stick, sometimes makes a den - a cave carved out of the snow with snow figures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, the shepherds and the Magi. Children gather for a Christmas presentation and received their gifts. New Year's Day was not home, and secular, for adults.
Particularly well, with fireworks and large crowds on the streets of the New Year was celebrated after the millennium in 1900. We ordinary people Christmas passed without trees (there were occasions when angry men expelled from the village of urban teachers arranged for the children's Christmas tree). After the church service, the villagers went home for the first time after a long fasting ate meat and sour cream. Help Santa Claus to them not required. Only at Christmas Christmas Carols in the crowd went home Treskun grandfather in a fur coat inside out with a face smeared with charcoal. He gave no gifts, no, he demanded them. And receives. The singer of folk soul Nekrasov put into his mouth are elevated line:
"I love the deep graves
The dead in the frost ryadit
And the blood freeze in my veins
And the brain in the head curdle »
I could be the prototype of such a character Kind Santa Claus leave the reader to judge. Snow Maiden is simpler - the character appears in Alexander Ostrovsky's play "The Snow Maiden" and the opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. However, showing them on New Year's children is not recommended in order to avoid severe injuries of the psyche. And, in fact, did not show. Maiden there is a tragic figure, and partly evil. This is a young Snow Queen from Andersen's fairy tales. The girl from the frozen ice sees love each other happy couple Lel and Kupava. Maiden comes to earth and wants to Lel was just with her. That it did not happen, and then it is given to a water Mizgir and together they are also designed to abolish all summer, which is necessary to jump over the fire on a holiday of Ivan Kupala. There, in the fire, and it evaporates.
After the revolution was no talk about anything, as a Christmas tree and Christmas carols were banned. However, the appearance of Santa Claus as a symbol of Soviet power was historically inevitable. In the thirties, Stalin said the historic phrase: "Life has become better, life has become merrier." According to the ideologists of the time in the holidays the Soviet people had otvlkatsya from heavy works on the industrialization of the country and visit coveted communism. Grandiznye arranged the exhibition of achievements, life-affirming films were shot, and the most fun in the history of Russian cinema. Holidays November 7 and May 1 magnetized crowd parades of military equipment and live tracks gymnasts. There is a need to arrange appropriate and New Year. In 1935 he was allowed to put Christmas trees in their homes, but there were difficulties. Even the most violent imagination could not imagine a responsible party worker near the Christmas tree singing the Christmas carols and children dressed angels.
Immediately Stalin had summoned all the known children's writers: Agnes Barto, Samuil Marshak, Roots Chukovsky and others. The first sensible proposal made Agnes Barto: "Let the kids dress up not angels and beasts: wolves, foxes, bears, rabbits." "It's good," said Stalin. Then he spoke, Samuel Marshak: "In America, gives gifts to children Santa Claus, it would be good for our children gave gifts our red Santa Claus, the more outfit with no need to invent anything." "It's very good," said Stalin, and looked expectantly at Corneille Chukovsky. He hesitated, blushed and said, "It is not good if Santa Claus will come to the children alone, and how our Soviet women. We have a Worker and Farmer, Pig and shepherd, let it be Santa Claus and Snow Maiden girl. " "It's very, very well," said Stalin, kissed Korney Chukovsky and gave him the Lenin Prize. The fact that Stalin liked the artistic image of a young, cheerful, rosy-cheeked girl as a symbol of communist abundance and after each scanned film, he tried all means to praise respective actresses.
There was also developed a scenario the first all-Russian trees in the Hall of Columns on the model of which had to settle trees in the field. It describes the first appearance of Santa Claus in public young eyewitness of the event: "Across the hall Santas, one and all in red coats to the floor, with a bushy snow-white beard, and the Snow Maiden in white hats and blue coats sprinkled from head to toe snowflakes, getting out of the tremendous gift bags. When Maiden bent to the bags, snowflakes sparkled and flashed. The bags were funny bears and dolls. Mishkin's head, feet Mishkin and torso like a round bag, plaid or polka dots or a blue and yellow. And it - goodies: apples, tangerines, candy, many things. And you have enough, and Take it home, who will treat you like ».
And who will say that everything was bad. On the contrary, everything was very good. During the Great Patriotic War, Father Christmas was a secret military mission. On holiday cards at the time, he is depicted Nazis expels the ice with a broom. When built the BAM Father Frost and the Snow Maiden first took part in this great project. Is it possible to compare with the giant of the spirit of a small, gray-haired man in a skimpy coat, climb the chimney.
The "Santa Claus»
Everyone knows that the prototype served as a Santa Claus Saint Nicholas of Myra, who lived in the III century in Asia Minor Greece. In popular memory, he remembered a good-looking kind old man who saves people from a variety of difficult situations, sometimes just tossing out the window a bag with money. He was particularly revered by sailors as a saint, helping to avoid shipwreck. In the Middle Ages in Western and Eastern Europe the custom of the feast day of the saint on December 6 puts out children's shoes to the saint put them gifts. However, the home of St. Nicholas in Greece there is no such custom. The role of the New Year's grandfather there takes another saint - St. Basil the Great. Why? And because his memory is celebrated on January 1st. Interestingly, in Russia, after 1918 there was a jump of 14 calendar days, January 1 became celebrated feast day of St. Elijah of Murom (what you do not Grandfather Frost) and martyr Boniface, who pray for deliverance from alcoholism.
But back to our subject. That is a mystery. As St. Nicholas became Santa Claus, elves and head of the flying reindeer? Elves, goblins, gnomes, and so on through the church terminology - the essence of evil spirits. And it turns out Santa Claus is not just an ordinary demon, and the lord of demons.
It so happens because the beginning of the 19th century, the veneration of the Dutch Saint Nicholas (Sinter Nicklaus) learned in America. The City of New York was founded by the Dutch and was originally called New Amsterdam. In the 18th century, the Dutch were in the minority among the many Irish and Anglo-Saxons. Irish as usual began to organize a grand parade in honor of St. Patrick's, and the Dutch to keep up with became widely celebrated December 6 - the day Sinter Nicklaus. In particular, before the houses exhibited a statue of the saint. In 1809, over this custom still laughing writer Washington Irving. But in general, the figure of an old man in a cap and a long coat to become Niyu Yorkers symbol of winter, and then Christmas.
Traders, arranged Christmas sales were awkward to use the familiar image of Christ in the manger, and funny old man Sinter Nicklaus came in handy. But the main driving force in the crystallization of the usual image of Santa Claus became a New York newspaper. This resulted in the tradition of annual Christmas stories (remember O'Henry masterpieces). Newspaper editors want to make them at least some diversity and, moreover, because of their nationality, they were embarrassed constantly write about the Divine Child Christ. The story of Santa Claus arrives at the North Pole Reindeer, composed by one of the journalists for their children have been adopted by them with a bang and strengthened so that now it is true joke director of a large retail chain "Christmas - that's fine, but where are the Christ ».