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Thread: The Origins Of Santa And His Reindeer

  1. #11
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    This racialisation is reflected in the reworking of the characters' mythos. From about 1850, Pete was said to be an imported African servant of Saint Nicholas. Today however, a more politically correct explanation is given: Pete's face is said to be "black from soot" (as Pete has to climb down chimneys to deliver his gifts). Nevertheless, the tradition has been accused of being racist, and attempts have been made to introduce Gekleurde Pieten (Coloured Petes), who are coloured blue, red, etc., instead of black
    .

    I can remember that around 1997 or 1998 they made an attempt and they failed horribly (thank the Gods). It caused a lot of uproar in Dutch society and IMHO this is one of the controversies that marked the start of the rise of the political right (since our very culture and traditions were under attack).
    Actually Zwarte Pieten are actually Hugin and Mugin, Odin's ravens. (according to the Dutch wikipedia)


    There exist actually more and local versions of Sinterklaas, for instance on the (Dutch) Frisian Islands:



    Sunderklaas

    Alde Sunderklaos/ Ouwe Sunderklaas
    Is being celebrated on the island of Texel at 12/13 December and is clearly pre-Christian in origins. The islanders gather on the streets for satirical plays (and wear costumes and masks)


    Sunnenklaas
    Is being celebrated on 5th of December instead of Sinterklaas on the island of Ameland, it's origins are unknown but clearly pre-Christian (possibly it was meant to see off evil spirits).
    The man, dressed in (outrageous) costumes (known as 'Sinteromes', 'Klaasomes", 'Sunderums' or 'Sunderklazen') gather out on the street, while women and children are supposed to be indoors and risk getting chased and "beaten up" if they dare to show themselves outside. Of course the trick is to manage to get outside without being spotted.


    Sunderum
    Is being celebrated on the island of Terschelling on the 6th of December, Yet again it's origins are unknown but clearly pre-Christian.
    Like on Ameland, it is not allowed for women to be outside. While the men, dressed up and masked, discuss last years' news with a changed voice. Walking into unlocked homes and pretend to be ghosts. Leaving it up to the women and children to guess their real identity. When found out, the women offer the "ghost" a traditional glass of jenever or another alcoholic drink.

    Source:
    Dutch wikipedia "Sinterklaas"
    Dutch wikipedia "Sunderum"

  2. #12
    Senior Member IlluSionSxxx's Avatar
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    Let's also not forget about Sint Maarten (Saint Martin). On 10 or 11 november, in some areas of Flanders and Holland people still celebrate the Sint Maarten feast. The tradition is celebrated differently in different areas, but one can say it is more or less a mixture between Halloween and Sinterklaas. Common ways of celebratin Sint Maarten is by going through the area with lampions or by starting a large fire, but in some areas of the Western part of Flanders the feast is almost a copy of the Sinterklaas holiday and Sinterklaas isn't really celebrated.


    Two ways of celebrating Sint Maarten :





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    It is also being celebrated in Dutch Limburg, Groningen and Friesland (and a bit in Dutch Brabant).


    Sint Maarten,s children's rhyme (around Venlo, so it's the version that my girl (possibly) sings):

    Sinter Mertes veugelke,
    haet ein roëd keugelke.
    Haet ein blauw stertje,
    hoepsa Sinter Mertes.
    Vandaag is 't Sinter Mertes,
    morrege Sinter Krökke.
    Dan kòmme die gooje herte,
    die hadde zo gaer ein stökske.
    Höltje op ein törrefke,
    Sinter Mertes körrefke.
    Hölt, hölt, hölt,
    en 's winters is 't kald.
    Hoera, hoera, waat hebbe de boere ein laeve,
    hoera, hoera, waat hebbe de boere ein pret.
    En
    Mieke de woep zoot op de stoep,
    en leet der eine vleege.
    Mieke de woep zoot op de stoep,
    en leet der eine goan.
    Hoera, hoera, waat hebbe de boere ein laeve,
    hoera, hoera, waat hebbe de boere ein pret.


    Or the version that we sang in the village where I used to live when I was on a boarding school/ orphanage (Heibloem, Dutch Limburg):

    Sint Merten, Sint Merten,
    De koöie höbbe sterte
    Geaf mich een appel of een peer
    Dan köm ich het ganze jaor neet weer.

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    Senior Member IlluSionSxxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lögsögumaður View Post
    It is also being celebrated in Dutch Limburg and Friesland (and a bit in Dutch Brabant).
    When I was referring to Holland, I did mean the Netherlands in general :p

    It's quite a local thing, though. For example, I'm not familiar with the feast of Sint Maarten myself but my girlfriend has known it since childhood. Both of us come from the province of (Belgian) Limburg, but from different sides of that province.

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    Apparently saint nick had a plantation in the south before moving to the north pole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leof View Post
    Apparently saint nick had a plantation in the south before moving to the north pole.
    If you look at the clothing of his helpers and you know the origin of saint Nicolas (Spain), the black helpers are probably based on Moorish slaves/servants who joined the Spanish nobility to the Nederlands when they were ruling over us in the 17th century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IlluSionSxxx View Post
    If you look at the clothing of his helpers and you know the origin of saint Nicolas (Spain), the black helpers are probably based on Moorish slaves/servants who joined the Spanish nobility to the Nederlands when they were ruling over us in the 17th century.
    Not us. I think that you refer here to the Southern Netherlands (Spanish Netherlands)?
    Because most of the North had kicked them out by 1600 (Staats-Brabant around 1630 and Zeeuws Vlaanderen around 1645)

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    Quote Originally Posted by lögsögumaður View Post
    Not us. I think that you refer here to the Southern Netherlands (Spanish Netherlands)?
    Because most of the North had kicked them out by 1600 (Staats-Brabant around 1630 and Zeeuws Vlaanderen around 1645)
    16th century is probably more precise indeed. I forgot that you guys were already seperated from the Spanish rulers back in the 17th :p

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    See also this thread.

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    Santa Claus and Father Frost


    Santa Claus and Grandfather Frost: the miracle on New Year’s eve


    There is one funny story VETLIVA would like to tell you, and it is not known whether this is true or not, so take it as a joke with a bit of truth. It sounds like “British children were very frightened when at the New Year holiday the Russians suddenly began to call for Dead Morose (Grandfather Frost) . Actually it is just consonant with that as Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and many other countries of the post-Soviet space call the main wizard of the New Year's night. No sullenness, we assure you: it is a very kind greybeard, who fulfills the wishes of the children and whose name is actually Grandfather Frost.

    Like Santa Claus, Grandfather Frost presents gifts, secretly congratulates all the people around. By the way, the biggest fear of all children is to find out that russian Santa Claus does not exist in reality and the gifts are actually presented by parents. But hey, we all know that he exists, right?


    Russian Santa tells his story


    All the magicians have their own stories. By the way, the prototype of Grandfather Frost and Santa Claus is considered to be the christian St. Nicholas. He lived a long time ago in the Turkish city of Myra and was a good miracle-worker and a persecutor of evil, the patron of abducted and lost children. In post-Soviet countries, Nicholas the Wonderworker became one of the most beloved saints. Simple peasants prayed for his help if a cow fell ill, or there was no rain for a long time, or some other misfortune occurred. Gradually, St. Nicholas in Western countries began to be called Santa Claus. But in Belarus, the translation of the name of the saint gave a very peculiar one. The fact of the matter is that in the Soviet years religious symbols were actively supplanted and, according to the decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1937, the saint was replaced by a character named Grandfather Frost.


    Santa Claus and Father Frost: what is the difference?

    So what is the difference between two kind grandfathers who delight children every year? Well, Grandfather Frost is a humanized element of frost that gives presents for the New Year, mostly — for children. He is helped by his granddaughter — Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), a young girl in blue robes and with long blond braids. By the way, it’s said that Snegurochka can melt under the hot sun, so in the summer she does not come out of her icy hut. We’ve already spoke about their cute house in the middle of coniferous forest in our article about best places to spend New Year.

    Meanwhile Santa Claus gives presents for Christmas, so by the New Year he has nothing to do. This difference lies in the fact that the New Year is much more important here than Christmas, Catholic or Orthodox. He is helped by young and beautiful elves.

    Grandfather Frost personified snow and frost, so his clothes is usually in blue and white colors. However, red and green are allowed. As for Santa Claus, nobody remembers how did he look like before. Since about the mid-fifties of the last century he wears red and white clothes (thanks to Coca-Cola advertising).

    Russian Santa is dressed for the weather: a long fur coat to the ground is sewn with patterns, belted with a sash, a fur collar, felt boots, and warm mittens. On the head he has a hat of a certain shape, trimmed with fur. Western Santa Claus wears light jacket, pants, shoes, wide belt, light gloves. Also he has a charming cap with a pompom. According to tradition, Grandfather Frost has a long beard to the waist and sometimes even to the floor. For Santa, it is shorter, but for both the beards are snow-white and thick. Santa's kind sight hides behind half frame gold glasses.

    Each of these cute old men has their own attributes: Santa Claus walks with a big red bag of gifts — mouth is watering when you look at so many presents! But as for Grandfather Frost has a crystal staff with a round tip. It is believed that with this staff russian Santa can freeze unshaken people, when the good one receive happiness for the next year after a touch of the staff.

    Classic Grandfather Frost from ancient myths moves on foot. Modern — in a sleigh pulled by three white horses. Santa Claus rides in a cart drawn by reindeers.


    Where to find russian Santa?

    While Santa lives in charming and snowy Lapland and there is no way for ordinary people to see his house, Grandfather Frost is ready to welcome everyone! He lives in Belovezhskaya Pushcha with his granddaughter, and every year hundreds and thousands of children meet him in the fabulous house. Here you can have a tasty meal, dance a round dance around the Christmas tree, write a letter with wishes for the next year and decipher Snegurochka’s puzzles.



    Grandfather Frost and Santa Claus: what's the difference?
    vetliva.comblog/santa-claus…grandfather-frost…on… 30.10.2018

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