Winter time is a magical time indeed, seeing all of the greenery slowly turn to brown and then it vanishes, while the sun slowly but surely climbs farther and farther away from you and if you are lucky enough to live in a snowy part of the world, before long a blanket of soft white clouds will fall onto the ground. However, the mystery of how winter came to the world has not always been understood by all, after all, we didn’t always understood why the sun came and went, but nevertheless our ancestors had some fascinating ways of explaining our wintery wonderland.
Now before I divulge the secrets of the past, it is worthwhile to remember that the Jack Frost who has graced our television screens and books in recent years is not the same one that our ancient family members knew. Many cultures and civilizations throughout human history have witnessed the comings and goings of the seasons and created mythical characters and stories to explain them.
The ancient Greeks had the myth of Persephone and Hades, where Persephone the daughter of a goddess would spend six months on the Earth amongst humanity and thereby bring the summer months to human civilization. But for six months of the year, she would travel down to the underworld and spend it with Hades where the Earth in despair would become a barren wasteland, covered in snow.
According to Norse belief, the wind god Kari had a son whose name was ‘Jokul Frosti’, which directly translates to icicle frost. If any of you are wondering, this was the beginning of the Jack Frost tradition. As this little boy, according to Viking tradition would run through villages decorating the land, walls and windows with his magical snow art, this is the beginning of the view of Jack Frost as a mischievous magical friend.
However, if we travel forth off to Russia, we discover a far more sinister tale, in Russian folklore there is a blacksmith who forged huge metal chains to keep all of the water in the world together. After a while, the coldest parts of Russia decided to create for him a wife, this Frostwoman brought in the coldest winters imaginable each year to the world.
Other cultures, such as the Aborigines have other legends, such as the Seven Sisters throwing down hard icicles towards the Earth raining the cold down from the sky. In earnest, Jack Frost as we know him only really began in the 1800’s long after all of these traditions were established. Thomas Nast released a picture of Jack Frost in 1846 covered head to toe in icicles, though decidedly with not half as kind of a face as we know today.
Jack Frost has not always been a friend to Christmas and Santa Clause, oh no, he has been used as a murderer, as someone who Santa thinks is a great person but is untrustworthy and Jack Frost has also tried to steal the role of Santa Clause before in a movie. Hence, that’s probably why he appears on so few Christmas items.
Oh well, for all your holiday information and more visit Sir Holiday today.
Man in the mountain
Frost face in window
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