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Thread: Santa Claus Tribulations

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    No Blorg's Avatar
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    Santa Claus Tribulations

    1. Ded Moroz

    The earliest tales of Ded Moroz presented him as a wicked and cruel sorcerer, similar to the Old Slavic gods "Pozvizd"—the god of wind and good and bad weather, "Zimnik"—god of winter, and the terrifying "Korochun"—an underworld god ruling over frosts. According to legend, Ded Moroz liked to freeze people and kidnap children, taking them away in his gigantic sack. Parents were said to have to give him presents as a ransom in return for their children. However, under the influence of Orthodox traditions, the character of Ded Moroz was completely transformed, later adopting certain traits from the Low Countries' (Belgian and Dutch) Sinterklaas (or Saint Nicholas), the prototype of Santa Claus.[5]...By the end of the 19th century Ded Moroz had become the most popular of the various mythical New Year gift-givers in Russia.[5]
    Following the Russian Revolution, Christmas traditions were actively discouraged because they were considered to be "bourgeois and religious".[7] Similarly, in 1928 Ded Moroz was declared "an ally of the priest and kulak".[8] Nevertheless, the image of Ded Moroz took its current form during Soviet times, becoming the main symbol of the New Year’s holiday that replaced Christmas. Some Christmas traditions were revived following the famous letter by Pavel Postyshev, published in Pravda on December 28, 1935.[7] Postyshev believed that the origins of the holiday, which were pre-Christian in any case, were less important than the benefits it could bring to Soviet children.[8] In 1937, a man playing Ded Moroz arrived at the Moscow Palace of Unions for the first time.Joseph Stalin ordered Palace of Unions' Ded Morozes to wear only blue coats, so that they would not be mistaken for Santa Claus.[9] During Stalinist times, Ded Moroz, Snegurochka (or "Snow Maiden"), and New Year Boy were featured in Communist-type Nativity scenes, or public appearances, with Ded Moroz as the equivalent of Joseph, Snegurochka as the equivalent of Mary, and the New Year Boy as the equivalent of the Christ child.[10]



    "Excerpt from Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England."


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    Senior Member MacGuffin's Avatar
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