Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

I do love Christmas, it’s not only a special time of year where people get together again but also a time filled with smiles, happiness and goodwill towards all. Brightly colored twinkling lights, the falling snow, the jolly shoppers, warm blankets and hot drinks. Total Motorcycle is all about people and it’s so hard to crate the “perfect Christmas post” but I do try and sometimes it can take hours picking theme, pictures, and story behind this year’s post to show my visitors you are more than traffic and revenue to me.

Total Motorcycle you may or may not know is run by just me, Michael Le Pard and a some great volunteers behind the scenes that help me in our very friendly community forums or with creating high-quality reviews. It’s a lot of work and it’s never been about revenue but the drive to help others. 2022 has been a mixed year for TMW as inflation, a stagnant economy, totalitarian governments, vaccine injuries and even wars take the focus away from the joys and freedom of motorcycling. But everything that is great in life always roars back again!

This year I thought about my own Christmas trips to Europe to the traditional ways Europeans do things and celebrate Christmas. I have been fortunate enough to visit the Christmas markets of Germany, England and Spain over the years. Since Europe and Russia are much, must older than North American traditions it is interesting to see Christmas traditions still in practice today that pre-date the settling of the USA or Canada! Such is Europe when a house is a new house if it is built after 1800.

This year I picked a Christmas song that I’m sure you’ll be singing as you read and I also look at a Russian Christmas tradition of The Story of Ded Moroz and the Snow Maiden which pre-dates our Santa Clause stories and Veliky Ustyug, the home of Father Frost’s house in St Petersburg along the just-as-fantastical-sounding trans-polar railway. Quite the interesting reads. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

THE STORY OF DED MOROZ AND THE SNOW MAIDEN

Every year, a gray-haired bearded wizard comes to the holiday, who lights the lights on the tree and gives the children gifts (those who behaved well). He is accompanied by the granddaughter of the Snow Maiden, a girl of ice.

So where did they come from. Let’s figure it out.

No one knows how Ded Moroz appeared, but his age is definitely more than 1000 years. The Slavs had Morok as the god of winter. An angry disheveled old man in a long linen shirt, pants and bast shoes. He covered everything in his path with snow or turned into ice with his stick, and he could beat naughty children or take them into the forest in his sack. It was believed that upon meeting him, a person would turn into an ice statue, therefore they were very afraid of him. Hence the expression “faint” and “confuse the head”.

The life of the Slavs directly depended on the weather and what kind of harvest the land would give. And if there are good frosts and a lot of snow, then the harvest will be good. Therefore, they began to lure the spirit of winter. On Christmastide or Maundy Thursday, inviting him with pancakes or kutya, leaving them on the porch or under the window. Then, at Christmas, there was such a frost that the snow crackled. Hence, the more affectionate names Studenets and Treskunets appeared.

The image also changed: a long fur coat and a hat appeared. The staff was decorated with the head of a bull, a symbol of fertility. Warm three-fingered gloves (it was believed that deities had fewer fingers than humans). But he was still a fierce shaggy old man.

After the baptism of Russia, Studenets was forgotten. In 1841, V.F. Odoevsky wrote the fairy tale “Moroz Ivanovich”, where Moroz acts as an edifying educator, gifting a hardworking and obedient Needlewoman, and punishes the Leninist. He himself lives in a well, sleeps on featherbeds made of snow. And under the featherbeds the grass, which the peasants sowed in autumn. In 1965, based on the fairy tale, A. Rowe shot the film “Frost”, the rights to which were bought by Hollywood.

But Moroz Ivanovich teamed up with the Christmas tree only in the second half of the 19th century, when there were attempts to create a character giving gifts to children. The analogy with Nikolai Ugodnik did not take root. And, by the beginning of the 20th century, the image of Santa Claus began to take shape.

After the revolution, all New Year traditions were persecuted and returned only to 1936.

The image of the Snow Maiden can be the image of a sacrificial girl who was taken to the forest to appease the god of winter and get a good harvest. In 1869 a fairy tale was published where childless grandfather and grandmother sculpt their granddaughter out of the snow, which comes to life. In the summer she goes with her friends to the forest, jumps over the fire and melts. There is another version of the fairy tale, where the Snow Maiden is killed out of envy, but then she is reborn, and the girlfriends are sent to the forest to be eaten by animals. In 1873 A. Ostrovsky, inspired by the fairy tale, created the play “The Snow Maiden”, where she is the daughter of Frost and Vesna-Krasna. They let her go to the people, in the village of Berendeyevka, where Snegurochka is ready to sacrifice her life to experience love. In the spring she dies.

In 1968, near the river Mera, where Ostrovsky wrote his play, a whole village was built for filming the film “The Snow Maiden”. After that, the scenery was brought to Kostroma, where the park “Berendeevka” arose. In 2008, the Snegurochka’s tower was built, where she receives guests still. And since 2009, officially and every year, on April 4, the birthday of the snow beauty has been celebrated.

For the first time Snegurochka appeared with Ded Moroz in 1937 at the Moscow House of Unions at the New Year’s holiday. She helped the old wizard, lead round dances, play with children and who, if not her, would help persuade even the most shy child to read a rhyme. She is his granddaughter. Not a single New Year character from other countries has such a cute accompaniment. Sometimes they are joined by a Snowman, who also appears in Soviet New Year cartoons. And a little New Year boy, who appeared in the early 20th century, in a suit with the number of the next year, to which Santa Claus passes relay race.

Ded Moroz turned into a kind old man in a long fur coat and a hat with a magic staff, with which he lights the holiday lights on the tree, and in his bottomless sack with gifts. He gives everyone a holiday, riding around in a sleigh pulled by three horses, and is very popular.

Of course, such a character cannot do without his residence and mail. The first residence of the wizard appeared in Arkhangelsk in the late 1980s. And in 1991, the official mail of Father Frost was registered.

In 1995, the Laplandsky Nature Reserve on the Kola Peninsula launched the project “Fabulous Lapland – the domain of Father Frost”, according to which the residence of Father Frost was located in the Chunozero estate.

Since 1998, the state tourist project “Veliky Ustyug is the homeland of Ded Moroz” has been operating. Within the framework of this project, since 2005, the official birthday of Ded Moroz has been celebrated on November 18. Approximately on this day, the first frosts hit Veliky Ustyug. Tourist trains travel to the city from many cities of Russia. You can visit the wizard’s tower, meet with him, take part in New Year’s games and fun. Take a ride on the Emelya oven. Walk through the owner’s rooms and see how he is living. There is also a museum with gifts that children give to Ded Moroz. A small zoo with northern animals, a winter garden, a trail of fairy tales and a post office of Ded Moroz

The Moscow estate of Ded Moroz was created within the framework of the same project in 2004. Here you can visit the Snegurochka’s tower, the Ded Moroz’s tower, the Creative tower, an ice skating rink and the path of fairy tales. You will also be invited to the Snegurochka cafe with hot tea and pies.

The homestead is open all year round, but the peak of activity is from November 18, Father Frost’s birthday, until mid-January, when school holidays end.

At the end of December 2011, a residence appeared in Murmansk. The house of Lapland’s Father Frost was erected on the territory of the Murmansk Lights park.

All projects exist independently. But the most important thing is considered to be the residence in the official homeland of Father Frost – Veliky Ustyug in the Vologda region .. This is where all letters to the wizard come if they do not have a specific address. Throughout the year, there are festive concerts, game programs, creative master classes, excursions around the towers.

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

The estate receives over 20 thousand letters annually.

Every year, on December 22, Ded Moroz arrives at the main square of St. Petersburg to light the main Christmas tree. The method of arrival is always kept secret and is distinguished by ingenuity. The wizard can go down in a hot air balloon, fly in by helicopter or arrive in a sleigh.

Ded Moroz kicks off the massive Ded Moroz race and opens the Christmas fair.

Also, “DedMorobuses” are starting to run around the city. At their stops, merry Grandfathers frost play fiery melodies and give gifts to residents.

Ded Moroz visits children in hospitals and orphanages, gives gifts collected by the townspeople and the city administration.

And in Gatchina lived the World Cossack Ded Moroz. This image was invented in 2010 by Vasily Pestryak-Golovaty. He himself created a costume decorated with epaulettes and aiguillettes. In addition to the staff, he has a dagger and saber, according to the Cossack tradition. And instead of a belt, a sash. He attends matinees, visits children in hospitals, participates in Cossack events. According to legend, the Cossack Ded Moroz comes to the holiday with the Snow Maiden and the little boy New Year’s. He plays with children, distributes gifts and leads round dances. Cossack Ded Moroz came from the taiga, he used to was an ordinary person, and then decided to become Ded Moroz and lives in his residence in Gatchina, Leningrad Region. Before that, he congratulated children and adults in the costume of an ordinary Ded Moroz for 30 years.

He spends every day at work, travels around the country all year round and meets with children. December 19 is his birthday, on this day he not only gives, but also accepts gifts. As a hereditary Cossack, his goal is not only to congratulate children, but also foster patriotism and love for the Motherland, as well as help disabled children and orphans.

Unfortunately, in 2016 Vasily Pestryak-Golovaty passed away, but in 2019, in the Stavropol Territory, Tersky Cossack Ded Moroz appeared. The World Cossack Ded Moroz’s dream of making this image immortal came true.

The real Ded Moroz knows how to cheer the audience. He knows a lot of jokes, songs and dances. In 12 strikes of hours he manages to go around all the houses and arrange gifts in the most unexpected places. And even if not everyone believes in his existence, but everyone enjoys that atmosphere, which this ruddy old man creates despite his advanced age. Turning any event into a real holiday. Entering every house, dancing and having fun.

There is so much kindness, fairy tales and magic. Take care of these feelings. And have a good holidays!

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

…and now for a special Christmas song picked by Total Motorcycle for this year…

Holly Jolly Christmas

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year
Now I don’t know if there’ll be snow
But have a cup of cheer
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet
Ho ho the mistletoe
Is hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year
Ho ho the mistletoe
Is hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year!

 

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

Russia: The Russian village that’s like a living Christmas card

There are two ways to reach Father Frost’s house: by train, or with the fairies. No one told me about the fairy express, so I’ve come to Veliky Ustyug from St Petersburg along the just-as-fantastical-sounding trans-polar railway.

The provincial outpost in Russia’s north-west appears, superficially, to be a crumbling citadel set astride the Sukhona River. But the weatherboards sagging on its periphery conceal a town flush with merchants’ mansions and alight with the domes of cathedrals that escaped destruction during the Soviet era.

The Christmas spirit is conjured by the ensemble of 17th-century cathedrals encircling the town square. It positively vibrates from the profusion of fairy-tale turrets, bell towers and bling-lacquered domes arising from these structures – some of Russia’s best-preserved Eastern orthodox architectural constructions.

I climb the creaking spiral staircase to a turret protruding from the Church of Procopius of Ustyug, and behold from behind its gold-foiled domes a wash of green landscape spiked with steeples and bisected by a silver thread of river. In winter, the river freezes shut, snow quilts the roads and powders the trees and embanks the basilicas, turning the town into a living Christmas card.

But it’s summer now, and the groundwork is being laid for a festive Christmas. Beyond Veliky Ustyug’s embellished skyline, deep in a taiga forest, Russia’s Father Frost (known as Ded Moroz) is working his way through children’s Christmas letters. He is determining who has been naughty and who has been nice.

I find Ded Moroz sweating beneath flamboyant gowns and beaming from within a voluminous cloud of beard. He hasn’t always lived in this wooden cottage: in 1998, Moscow’s mayor proposed locating the Russian folk hero’s estate in this expanse of forest on Veliky Ustyug’s outskirts; the fortunes of the once-thriving river port had declined after trade was diverted to the Baltic Sea in the 18th century, and it was hoped such publicity would reverse its bad fortune.

And so it did. For Russian children so adore Ded Moroz, they travel from all over Russia to see him – even in the depths of winter, when the temperature drops to minus-36 degrees. As many as 7000 arrive in Veliky Ustyug every day between New Year and January 7, the day on which the Eastern Orthodox Christmas falls. Ded Moroz is waiting for them, presents in hand.

I imagine the winter crowds as I glide through the 12 rooms of Ded Moroz’ house, quiet now in summer: one contains a snow labyrinth, another is filled with Christmas trees created by his fans (including one cleverly constructed from plastic forks); there’s a dressing room hanging with his lavish outfits, a wall papered in photos of him with famous people (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) and a bedroom with its tower of herb-filled pillows – one for each day of the week.

Inside the estate’s post office, stacks of neatly bound letters await Ded Moroz’ attention. More than 200,000 envelopes are delivered here each year – from all over Russia, from Malaysia and Mongolia and the US; each one contains a request for a special gift.

But what about those who were naughty, I ask?

“Everybody gets a present eventually,” Ded Moroz assures me.

But he seems to possess a mischievous streak himself. For while good children receive their gifts immediately, he says, eyes twinkling, “the naughty kids must wait.”

TRIP NOTES
Story by Catherine Marshall travelled as a guest of Intrepid.

TOUR
Veliky Ustyug is one of the stops on Intrepid’s Russia Highlights New Year journey and its Footsteps of the Reindeer Herders Expedition. Prices start from $2435 per person and include overnight train travel to Veliky Ustyug.

 

Merry Christmas 2022 From Total Motorcycle!

About Michael Le Pard 8576 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 23 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 375 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.