Different country – different Santa, but we wrote about it last year – The bare chested Santa. This time, it’s about the helpers.
In Russia, together with Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), the presents are delivered by Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden). Sometimes portrayed as a sweet little girl, sometimes as an adult beautiful woman, so nobody knows, whether she’s a granddaughter, a daughter or even a wife of Santa. According to the Russian folklore, Snegurochka was a gift from God to an old couple, that couldn’t have children. She was born from the snow, and named after it (sneg – snow).
In the Dutch traditions, it’s not Santa but his helper climbing on the roofs and chimneys. It’s the Black Pete who gives presents. Maybe, that’s why his face is always smoke-black. However, until the middle of last century it has been told that he’s an Ethiopian slave who was saved by Sinterklaas. Although he is laughing and dancing on the streets, his skin colour is still controversial.
Slightly different from those we know from Lord of the Rings, however still with pointy ears, they help Santa in dreams of many European children. In all countries and cultures, there are so many portraits of them as the human mind could imagine. In France we would call them – lutins, in Sweden – tomtenissar, although they arrived from America, where the children believe that these nice dwarfs construct toys in the Santa’s factory in the middle of the North Pole.