Posted by Smokey Stover on December 20, 2006
In Reply to: "Old Man Winter" "Father Winter" posted by Valeriy on December 19, 2006
: : : : : Where did the phrase "Old Man Winter" come from.
: : : : Like so many other things, the seasons have often been personified. Which one gets to be the charming and seductive woman is open, but for the dour, blustery, punishing end of the year, an old man seems an apt personification, although there may have been others.
: : : : As to who started it, I haven't a clue.
: : : : SS
: : : I've been looking but I haven't found it.
: : Father Winter (Old Man Winter), like the elfish creature Jack Frost, is a personification of winter. In Russian folklore, Old Man Winter is known as Morozko. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Winter See http://www.lacquerbox.com/morozko-long.htm
: : Christmas, a festival of peace and reconciliation, has helped European cultures to preserve many of their ancient beliefs and practices. 'Father Winter', for example, has survived as 'Santa Claus', while evergreen tree worship survives in the adoration of the Christmas Tree. Such Christmas-time customs present patterns that non-Christians also may recognize. http://livingheritage.org/pole-spirits.htm
: : Father Winter is an ancient Pagan figure more commonly known as Santa Clause. In olden times he gave fruit, plants, and magical herbs. Today, people buy gifts for Father Winter to give to children. In olden times he was said to have worn a cape and delivered his gifts on a white horse, a symbol of the Goddess. http://www.starfirescircle.com/yule.html (Sites accessed December 16, 2006)
: Morozko is not exactly Farther Winter. In Russian folklore there are several characters associated with winter:
: 1. Matushka Zima - Mother Winter
: 2. Ded Moroz - Old Man Frost (practically a synonym of Santa Claus according to his "functions".
: 3. Morozko - a young companion of Santa Claus.
: 4. Snegurochka - something like Snow Maiden, also accompanies Ded Moroz on many occassions.
Tchaikovsky wrote incidental music for Ostrovsky's Snegurochka, performed in 1873. It was pretty much a failure (only six performances), but I like some of the music very much. The work is always called The Snow Maiden in English.