I think that to make people “choose” between St Nicholas and Santa is a false opposition. After all, Santa’s a secular figure (as Ded Moroz is), and St Nicholas is a religious figure. There’s NO contradiction between the two whatsoever. If it were up to me, I’d have Santa (or Father Christmas or Papa Noël or whatever else you’d want to call him), St Nick, and Dede… all three! They don’t compete with one another. St Nick comes on St Nicholas Day… Santa comes on Christmas… and Dede comes on the New Year. Hell, I’d even throw in the Three Kings (if I ask kindly enough, perhaps, Julio will bring his stilts for a real Old School Tres Reyes blast) on Epiphany. Don’t go around making false conflicts. If you consider it carefully, and choose wisely, you’d see that you could have ‘em all… all in their proper place, of course.
Now, go off and fetch me the jug… that was thirsty work.
Ded Moroz (Russian for “Grandpa Frost”) will make it onto Tajikistan’s TV screens this New Year after all. A state media boss in the predominately-Muslim former Soviet nation announced earlier this week that he’d would ban Ded Moroz this year… a cheerful white-bearded figure equivalent to Father Christmas… as he isn’t in keeping with local traditions. However, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev, the influential mayor of the capital city, Dushanbe, put an end to that killjoy move and insisted that he be part of the festive celebrations. In recent years, Ded Moroz and other associated traditions, which are a legacy of Tajikistan’s history as a former Soviet republic, came under fire from hardline Muslims. The state broadcasting head, in announcing the Ded Moroz prohibition, said that New Year’s Eve programming would feature music, singing, dancing, and countdown festivities, but that they couldn’t show alcohol consumption. A Dushanbe city hall source insisted that no one slapped a ban, official or otherwise, on traditional New Year symbols, which typically include Ded Moroz and his comely granddaughter Snegurochka.
18 December 2013