A popular Russian fairy tale character, Snegurochka often accompanies his grandfather, the Father Christmas while he visits children during Christmas. Also known as snow maiden, this blonde, slim and kind lady is seen in a blue coloured fur coat and a crown which is decorated with pearl or silver. However, nowhere in the world except in Russia where you find Santa Claus along with his beautiful granddaughter. As per Russian traditions, she is the daughter of Father Frost and snow queen but was considered as his daughter in the later years. She, along with Father Christmas travels in a sleigh and she assists him in distributing gifts to children during Christmas and New Year. An unavoidable factor in Russian Christmas celebrations, she is young, pretty and ever smiling and acts as a mediator between Father Christmas and the children. Read on to know more about Snegurochka and the legends associated with her.
Story Of Snegurochka
The story of Snegurochka can be dated back to the days of pagan when there existed a childless couple. One day a miracle happened in the form of a snow sculpture who came alive to be their adoptive daughter. She bought lot of joy to the households though did not had a long life. Once, she went to woods along with few village children and when it got dark, they made a fire and the girls started playing by jumping over the flames. When Snegurochka jumped, she got melted and turned herself into a white cloud. In some regions in Russia, people still drown a straw figure in the river or burn it in bonfire to dispel the winter. This tradition symbolises the transition from winter to spring.
Snegurochka, The Theatre Play
Snegurochka became well-known in Russia after A. N. Ostrovski wrote a theatre play 'The Winter Tale' or 'Snegurochka in 19th century when the entire Europe was engulfed in the storm of folk lore studies. The play tells about Snegurochka as the daughter of father Frost and spring. Snegurochka is immortal and lives in her father's winter forest. She is depicted as a fairy maiden who wished to fall in love with a human being and got melted away as she got overwhelmed by the emotion when her wish was granted by her mother. Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera 'Snegurochka' which is based on the play of Ostrovsky.
In Russia, Christmas celebrations were banned for almost 20 years and it was only in 1935, the government realised the importance of winter celebrations. They brought back the Christmas celebrations but made it part of new parties. In 1937, Father Christmas became part of the Christmas celebrations along with trees and gifts. In the same year, the Kremlin's New Year party, inspired by A. N. Ostrovski's theatre play decided to give a granddaughter to Father Christmas. Since then, Snegurochka, dressed in white and red or light blue fur coat and with fur hat has been part of all New Year celebrations.
The modern Snegurochka is an indispensible part of Children's New Year celebrations in Russia. Even at present, Russian children conduct parties on New Year not on Christmas. Small girls dress up as Snegurochka in winter attire and a cap. It is Snegurochka who opens the children's New Year parties and pretends that Father Christmas is lost and asks the children to help her find him. After a few rounds of songs and games, Father Christmas is found which makes the party more climatic. This is followed by many more games and distribution of gifts. In the Christmas and New Year cards in Russia, Father Christmas is always accompanied by his daughter.
Snegurochka The Evergreen Beauty
Russian folk lore depicts Snegurochka as an evergreen beauty. It is said the old man and the woman who made her out of snow used two deep bluish beads for her eyes, two dimples in her cheeks and used red ribbon pieces for her mouth. Though she was very beautiful, she looked even gorgeous when she was given life. She is often portrayed as a woman with snow white skin, deep sky blue eyes, curly and fair hair and cherry lips. Snegurochka is seen in white garments and a blue, red or silver crown which is decorated with pearl and silver or an embroidered cap with fur edging. She is renowned as one of the most attractive women characters in Russian folklore.
Snegurochka Lives In
It is said Snegurochka lives deep in a winter forest. Her place of residence is considered to be the Russian city of Russian city of Veliky Ustug. As per the present tales, father Frost is regarded as her grandfather.
The stories and folklores associated with Snegurochka are in plenty. Hope this article familiarises you with this beautiful fairy-tale lady.
Snegurochka also known as snow maiden is a fairy tale character which is popular in Russian folklores. Read further to know more about this kind lady who is also known as Santa Claus's granddaughter.