Grandfather Frost is not really a ‘Santa’. In Belarusan culture his name is Ded Maroz, which means ‘grandpa frost’ or ‘elder frost’. He lives somewhere far in the northern forest and his job is to ‘make’ winter. He has a big staff with a magical top made of ice. When Ded Maroz walks in a forest, he strikes trees with his staff, and they are instantly frozen and covered with snow. The character of Ded Maroz came from the ancient Spirit of Winter. In modern times, Ded Maroz is seen accompanied by his granddaughter Snegourochka – Snow-girl. At children’s festive parties, she precedes Ded Maroz and encourages the children to call in chorus, “Ded Maroz!”, and Ded Maroz appears. One by one the children tell him verses, sing songs, and in turn he hands them gifts. On New Year’s eve, Ded Maroz comes invisibly to children’s homes and puts gifts under the New Year tree, usually into the children’s felted boots. At other times of the winter season, one has to be wary of Ded Maroz. He can be very harsh and strike our noses, fingers or toes with his magic staff!
Read more in our Spring 2012 issue.
Designed by Maria E. Gollek
Aspiring to inspire before I expire