This fun winter venture has been known to people for more than one century. But not many people know what a supernatural sense the snowman had in the past ...
According to folk tradition, at the end of the 15th century, approximately in 1493, Italian sculptor, architect, poet Michelangelo Buonarroti first blinded a snow figure. According to historical studies, the first written record of a snowman is found in the book. XVIII century: it says about a "giant snowman" of gigantic proportions. And the word itself "Schneeman", that is, the "snowman" originally appeared in German. The image of a snowman first appeared as an illustration of a children's songbook published in Leipzig.
First snowmen portrayed as unkind fierce snow monsters of impressive size. This is not by chance, because in those old times, ruthless winters with severe frosts and dank blizzards brought a lot of trouble. Most likely, it was then that the belief appeared that snowmen pose a real threat to people. They thought it was dangerous to sculpt them in periods of the full moon: for a person disobedience can turn into obsessive nightmarish dreams, nightly fears, and indeed all sorts of failures.
And in Norway there was a legend that it is dangerous to look at snowmen late in the evening because of the curtains. In addition, it was considered a bad sign to meet a snow figure at night: it was recommended to avoid it.
Only in XIX century the snowy creatures of the “warmer” and soon became an indispensable attribute of Christmas and New Year. Greeting cards with the image of a cute smiling snowman surrounded by cheerful children quickly gained popularity. It is curious that, in the view of European peoples, a snowman is always a male creature, they never had snow women and Snow Maidens. In English, there is only one word for its designation - "Snowman".
According to an old European parable, St. Francis of Assisi considered the creation of snowmen as a peculiar method of dealing with demons. And according to another Christian legend, snowmen are angels. After all, snow is a gift of heaven. So, the snowman is none other than an angel, who can transfer to God the requests of people. For this little snowman, they sculpted from fresh snow and quietly whispered their desire to him. They believed that as soon as the snow figure melted, the desire would immediately be delivered to heaven and soon be fulfilled.
In Europe, snowmen are always sculpted beside with houses, generously decorated with garlands and household utensils, wrapped in scarves, and in the hands handed branched brooms. In the details of their "attire" guessed mystical character For example, the nose in the form of a carrot was attached to appease the spirits sending the harvest and fertility. The inverted bucket on his head was a symbol of wealth in the house. In Romania, the custom of decorating a snowman with beads from garlic heads has long been known. It was believed that this contributes to the health of the household and protects them from the leprosy of dark power.
Snowmen are devoted to wonderful children's fairy tales. The most famous is the fairy tale by G. H. Andersen. "Snowman". The dog tells the snowman about his life, about people and about the stove, with which she loved to warm up, being a puppy. And the snowman also had an inexplicable desire to get closer to the stove, it seemed to him that something was stirring in him. All day long, instead of rejoicing at the bitter frost, he yearned, looking at the furnace through the window ... Spring came, and the snowman melted. And only then was there an explanation for his sadness: the snowman was strengthened on the poker, which moved in him at the sight of the native stove.
The hero of another good German fairy tale Mandy Vogel "Der Wunsh des braunen Schneemannes" ("The Dream of a Brown Snowman") - chocolate snowman. He wants to see the snow, and his friend, boy Tim, takes him outside. Snowman is delighted with the white winter day and children's games in the snowballs. In the end, the chocolate snowman himself becomes covered with snow, he genuinely rejoices at this, thinking that now he is as white as everyone else. But Tim, seeing that his fairy-tale brown friend is still far from perfect whiteness, does not dare to disturb his happiness.
In Russia, snowmen were sculpted from ancient pagan times and revered as winter spirits. Any child knew very well how to make a snowman with his own hands; after the first snowfall, a lot of kids poured out into the street and started rolling snowballs. To the cobbled-up figures, as well as to Frost, they were treated with due respect and made requests for help and for reducing the duration of severe frosts.
By the way snow women and Snow Maiden - this is our, Russian cultural tradition. Our ancestors believed that winter natural phenomena (fog, snow, blizzards) were commanded by female perfumes. Therefore, in order to show them their respect, they made snow women.
Not for nothing, there is the expression "Mother Winter", "Father Frost". And the month of January was sometimes even called “the snowman”. For our people, the snowman is also one of the favorite New Year characters. In the glorious Soviet cartoons "Snowman mailer", "When Christmas trees are lit" snowman acts like a loyal assistant Santa Claus on the farm. In the Soviet Union, snowmen were skillfully painted on greeting cards.
Today in our civilized world, the creation of snow figures remains not only a favorite activity of children, but also socially organized holiday. Worldwide set records for modeling the highest snowmen. Interesting Facts:
- Highest in Europe a snowman is emblazoned on the slopes of a ski resort in Austria, in the city of Galtür: its height has reached 16 meters 70 centimeters.
- A record for creating the tallest snowman in the world It was installed in the United States of America in 1999, its height is 37 meters 20 centimeters, and its weight is 6 thousand tons of snow.
We are not lagging behind in this matter either! For several years now in Moscow, an annual competition has been held in the estate of Ded Moroz in Kuzminsky Park "Parade of snowmen". Let our snow figures grow only from a person, but their number (several dozen) is very impressive!
Find and you time to enjoy the winter and be sure to blind your snowman! Happy holiday to you!