I’ve been hearing it for years, my father-in-law Old Man Frost a gift to the world.
Only the truth is it’s not that it’s not him, the train enthusiast we know as Yorkshire’s Casey Jones.
No, this Old Man Frost is actually called Ded Moroz and he’s coming your way.
If you live in East Europe or South-East Europe that is.
I’m indebted to my buddy Peter for flagging up that Old Man Frost (no, not mine) is on the move.
Though I suspect he didn’t see him first hand on the Russian Metro.
Ded Moroz’s story does indeed start in Russia but long, long ago… before Christianity.
Frostie the Showman
Ded (let’s just call him Frostie) lives in Veliky Ustyug, 500 miles north of Moscow.
And Russian families make pilgrimages there which is probably where we found him on the train.
And, yes, you can see for yourself, but this is the dress code for your Frostie.
His fur coat is ankle long and is embroidered with silvery stars and crosses.
And his hat should be red and embroidered with pearls.
Frostie wears mittens and a wide white belt. He has high boots with silver ornamentation, but on an exceptionally chilly day can opt for valenki!
And he carries a twisted pikestaff made of silver or crystal.
It is said to help the oul fella weave his way through the deep dark forest in the winter.
Kids often tease Ded Moroz calling him “Ded Moroz the Red Nose.”
And his young helper
Note here that our Frostie is not so easily teasable.
And who is Frostie’s young helper here?
Well, none other than Snegurochka, the Ice Maiden, his granddaughter.
And again we have one of them here who is the apple of her grandfather’s eye.
They travel wide and far
Frostie is a bit of a shape-shifter… I know all about them from the fjords.
And you can find versions of Frostie and his little helper across the former Soviet Union.
And in Bulgaria and in the Slavic countries in the Balkans.
I dare say if I were to go back to Bosnia & Herzegovina at this time of the year I’d see Old Frostie.
Old Man Frost on the move
So with the bottom of our trees empty a thought on where the gifts are still waiting to be handed out.
Santie is having a well-deserved rest back in Lapland but Old Frostie is on the move.
Yes, that Old Man Frost a gift to the World.