The time of Christmas and New year is coming, and people around the world are beginning to remember the Christmas trees, toys, gifts and, of course, the good grandfather who gives all these gifts.
But is the old man with the beard so kind? What is really a favorite of all the hero of Christmas stories? Today we will figure it out!
Cute, fresh-faced looking back at us from shop Windows and greeting cards almost every country. Children who believe in fairy tales, waiting for his arrival with impatience. They are waiting and do not even suspect that less than two centuries ago the children were shaking in horror and fear, waiting for his arrival.
Yes, during this short time his image has changed beyond recognition. Several reasons. First, since the end of the 19th century, the attitude towards children began to change dramatically. And from the growing labor force, they began to gradually turn into a special value for parents. And secondly, a good man with gifts, as it turned out, you can make good money. And the most succeeded in this adored by all Santa.
Meanwhile, Santa has a very unpleasant file.
The basis of this image is a real man, Archbishop of Myra, St. Nicholas. He lived in the second or third century ad. The ruins of his residence and today can be seen near the village of Demre in modern Turkey.
The whole world knows him by different names: Nicholas of Myra, Nicholas the Wonderworker, Nicholas the Saint. Well, finally, Santa Claus, Baba Noel, or Santa Claus.
It is now the icon of St. Nicholas covered a cloying legends that he gave secret gifts to poor people who had children and who could not afford it.
Everything was just the opposite!
In fact, until the mid-19th century, Santa Claus hunted that sec rods and carried away in a bag of those children who had the audacity to be disobedient. Where did the Saint get such inhuman cruelty?
The fact that in those days it was quite common practice to take children 7-12 years in slavery, if the parents could not pay tax or tribute. But the Archbishop yearly, in autumn and winter, have made such a follow-up visit at the entrusted territories.
Hence, the firmly ingrained in people's heads the way. Despite the different names in many folk traditions, St. Nicholas is engaged in the same thing: takes away from the poor peasants children. That's what a well-earned reputation!
Santa was not alone. For example, in the Alps his constant companion was Krampus. A creature with horns, long teeth, hooves and a tail. He performed for the grandfather the dirtiest work: sec naughty kids long rods and took with him to his terrible castle.
In the German tradition of St. Nicholas is accompanied by another assistant, a soldier Ruprecht, who does the same thing as Krampus.
The company seems to back the to become!
To the second half of 19 century the need in such terrible heroes gradually are getting away on there is no, and then white threads are beginning cut quite another history.
Santa is gradually losing his frightening features, and Krampus turns into a kind of Scarecrow, which now steals children to ride them on a sled.
All these ridiculous metamorphoses can be seen on postcards from different historical periods. Here, admire yourself!
By the way, in Russia during the reign of Alexander II also wanted to have their own Christmas grandfather. So in 1861 in some sources you can find mention of the old Ruprecht, who gave gifts to children. And in 1870 already lit up St. Nicholas.
But these images did not take root in the vast expanses of our country. Too strong was the ancient, pagan traditions. In Russia winter reigned a completely different character, Karachun.
The ancient Slavs worshipped Karachun on December 21-22, the coldest and shortest day of the year or the day of the winter solstice.
It is known that Karachun is the second name of Chernobog, the God of death, the evil underground spirit, and the God who commands the frosts.
With this formidable deity always there were bears-rods that turn into snowstorms and blizzards and wolves.
The word "Karachun" is firmly in the speech of the common people. "He came Karachun", "Expect Karachun", "Ask Karachun" "Enough Karachun." All these phrases can be heard even now.
Over time, the image of Karachun became more closely associated with frost. So there was a severe old man with a beard, which fetters the land of cold, immersing it until spring in a deep, reminiscent of death, sleep.
Then the image of the beloved by Soviet and Russian children Santa Claus, the Lord of the winter cold, was born.
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