Надежда Александровна Власова

Имя: Надежда
Анкета преподавателя: Nadezhda Vlasova
Надежда Александровна Власова -> Learn Russian words / Учим русские слова
Snegurochka (Snow Girl, Snow Maiden) is a constant companion of Russian Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), his granddaughter and assistant. Snegurochka is an integral part of New Year party in Russia. It is a bright national peculiarity. As you know, nobody helps Santa Claus in his Christmas bustle.

Ded Moroz and his granddauther Snegurochka. Soviet postcard.

How, when and why did Snegurochka appear?
Perhaps the earliest known character of the Snow Maiden came fr om Russian folklore. There is a tale about how childless farmers decided to blind themselves daughter of snow. They went out into the yard, made a doll that came to life. Here is the beginning of this tale, processed and published in 1869 by the famous scientist A.N. Afanasyev: "There was a peasant Ivan, his wife's name was Mary; they lived in love and harmony, became old, and had no children, they were much distressed about it! Winter came, the young snow fell... They went out of the house and began to sculpt a doll. Ivan took a look - Snow Maiden was moving, as alive, and her hands and legs and head were moving. "Oh, Ivan! - cried Marya with joy - the Lord gives us a child!". In the fairy tale Snegurochka is a little girl.

The picture shows how Snegurochka from Russian fairy tale is coming to live.

In 1873, the famous Russian playwright A.N. Ostrovsky wrote the play "Snegurochka". Ostrovsky used Afanasyev`s plot, but only partially. In the play Snegurochka is the daughter of the Grandfather Frost and Beautiful Spring. Snegurochka in the play is the beautiful blonde girl who is afraid of the sun and die with the its first rays. Snow Maiden image in the play by A.N. Ostrovsky is very complex and is closely linked to the characters of his other plays, such as Katherine in the play "Thunderstorm".
I must say that the play "Snegurochka" was not a success with the public. Only in 1882, when N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote his famous opera, the Snow Maiden came to popularity.
Since the end of the XIX century Snegurochka became the part of one of the Christmas celebrations. Parents organized Christmas parties for kind, in Russian they are called "ёлка" (the Christmas tree is also called so). Snegurochka always participated in them, though not in the role of the leader, as now. Before the revolution  postcard were produced with Ded Moroz and Snegurochka, her figures hung on the Christmas tree, little girls dressed up Snow Maiden costumes, made staging fragments of the fairy tale, Ostrovsky`s play or Rimsky-Korsakov`s opera. Snegurochka was portrayed as a little girl like in this old postcard:

Ded Moroz and his granddauther Snegurochka. Christmas postcard. End of XIX - beginning of the XX century.  

Shortly after 1917 all religious holidays, including Christmas, were banned. Ded Moroz and his granddaughter Snegurochka began to congratulate children on the New Year, but not on Christmas. In Soviet times, a lot of books were issued on the organization of New Year parties. According them, Snegurochka became her grandfather`s assistant and a mediator in dealing with children. In 1937, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka first appeared together on the main New Year party of the country in the Moscow House of Trade Unions. From that time Snegurochka became a well known and familiar image - the image of a beautiful blonde girl with gray or blue eyes.
In 1968, the film was shot on the play by AN Ostrovsky. For the filming of the river Mera (Kostroma region) the whole village was built . Place the director chose was not accidental: Ostrovsky wrote his "Snegurochka" there. After completing the filming allf the scenery moved to Kostroma, wh ere a fleet of "Berendeevka" was organized. Also there is Snegurochka`s house in Kostroma now (in Russian it is called terem) that is open for toirists all the year round.

Snegurochka`s house in Kostroma.
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