Rus Articles Journal

Snegurka is the Snow Maiden - whose it is the granddaughter?

the Snow Maiden, the fairy tale New Year`s character - the constant companion and Father Frost`s assistant acting as the intermediary between it and children when children call chorus Father Frost to themselves on a visit. It is considered that the Snow Maiden is a granddaughter of Father Frost in an image of the little girl, sometimes the young girl who is unseparable with it and accompanies it on all its trips.

Having incorporated different advantages of world culture, Russia was unique storage of all world values kept in ceremonies, fairy tales, legends, songs, dancings and religious beliefs. Some of these ceremonies are discussed by researchers still. For example, if custom to put an elegant fir-tree on New Year`s holidays it is supported in many countries, then it a ceremonial figure as, practically anybody has no Snow Maiden any more.

In the Russian folklore the Snow Maiden appeared in the 19th century, as the fairy tale character, - the girl made of snow who recovered then. “Snegurka (Snezhevinochka, Germans have Schneekind) is called so because was born from snow“. In 1869 this fantastic story was published by A. N. Afanasyev in the second volume of its work “Poetic Views of Slavs on the Nature“.

Also carry Saint Lucia whose holiday was celebrated in Germany and the Baltic States in the XVI-XVII centuries to a possible prototype of the Snow Maiden, replaced with the Christian Saints who are often specially picked up for these cases characters of pagan mysteries.

In paganism it can be Isida with the son Gore or Cybele with the son Attis, known long before Christmas, and there is a Fir-tree identifying “a Lord`s coffin“. In the Russian national fairy tales there is a lot of similar to Isida`s Mysteries, Cybele, Adonis. Also we know that the Scandinavian maiden Iza - the Sparkle (small piece of ice), is the daughter of god Imir consisting of a frost and hoarfrost, and it is, respectively, a snowflake - the Snow Maiden.

Other pretender to a role of the Snow Maiden, the goddess of East Slavic mythology of Makosh - the representative of an Old Russian pagan pantheon. The name of Makosha was connected both with water, and with spinning which was noted in many national ceremonies and customs. This connection with spinning channelized search of analogs, such as Scandinavian Norna, Greek Moira, the spinning life threads.

Sacred day of Makosha - Friday, this day a sacrifice in the form of a yarn or a tow which was dumped in a well was made. This ceremony carried the name “mokrida“. In Christian religion many lines of Makosha has sacred Paraskev - the Christian martyr who died at the emperor Diokletiana. The name of this Christian the Saint is also connected with Friday and call her Paraskev Pyatnits.

There are researchers of old times who consider that the Snow Maiden arose from an ancient Slavic ceremony of a funeral of Kostroma which on a farewell to winter either is burned, or heat in the river. Others associate the Snow Maiden with a demonic being and connect her with the Moraine - the pagan goddess of death, winter and night. The third represent it in the doubtful company of the Snowman, allegedly divine father Snegurochki.

It is necessary to tell that among figures of revolution in Russia there were people who are well knowing comparative mythology. They could find quickly analogs of all world religions with ancient myths and mysteries of Egypt, Rome and Greece to replace religious holidays of Christians with other their pagan prototypes. Just as the church replaced pagan gods with the Saints in due time.

So also the Snow Maiden who accepted an image of the girl (girl), Father Frost`s granddaughter who appears with the expiring year was born and meets the new, coming year, near the decorated New Year tree. The famous artists V. M. Vasnetsov, M. A. Vrubel, N. K. Roerich took part in creation of this image.

The opera “Snow Maiden“ which was heard on January 29, 1882, according to many composers, the most poetical opera of Rimsky-Korsakov. The girl from Berendeevka strikes all with the readiness to give life for an instant of true love. In it everything is shown, ecstasy of love, languor, delight and hopelessness - the Snow Maiden understands that perishes. With horror see a berendea as it before the Sun thaws, and there is no girl Snegurochka any more.

With the opera “Snow Maiden“ other drama mystery of Richard Wagner which sounded the same year a little later than (on July 26, 1882) has something in common. The main hero of an ancient mystery - the knight Parsifal and as the Snow Maiden, in the final perishes the beautiful maiden Kundri on whom the damnation is imposed.

In Russia always celebrations of New year, per se connected New year merry Christmas by Christoff, and, was not. Father Frost and Santa - Claus are the different characters having everyone own appointment. Santa - Claus is a prototype Saint Nikolay Mirlikiysky. In Orthodoxy he is known as Nicholas The Wonderworker.

Moroz, Morozko as the folklore character personifying forces of nature is known since ancient times, and he undertook Christmas duties by the beginning of the 20th century. For a while, before revolution, it was also rehabilitated only in 1930 - x years. Father Frost and Snegurochki`s first joint official emergence (as young girl) happened at a meeting in the Moscow House of the Unions in 1937.