In mythology and folklore of different countries, there are amazing and often not similar magical winter creatures. And not all of them, personifying cold and cold, are hostile to humans.
Winter mythological (folklore) creatures have become heroes of fairy tales, legends and legends for a long time. Which ones are worthy of special attention?
Zyuzya (Republic of Belarus)
Zyuzya is a kind of analogue of the Russian Santa Claus, who, by the way, in the mythology of the ancient Slavs was not a sweet, kind old man who brought gifts to children, but a stern winter creature.
Zyuzya in Belarus is the embodiment of cold, fierce winter, a winter deity. The name of the deity is formed from the word "zyuzets", meaning "to freeze".
Zyuzya looks like a short, plump old man. He has long gray hair and a thick white beard. Zyuza always wears light warm clothes trimmed with fluffy fur. However, Zyuzya walks on snow and ice barefoot, and he also never puts on a hat. In the hands of the deity of winter - a heavy and massive mace made of metal.
Zyuzya prefers to live in the winter forest. But occasionally the deity of winter from Belarusian folklore visits people. He comes to houses for refreshments, and also warns the inhabitants of villages and villages about the impending frost and snowfall. If you turn to Zyuza for help, he is unlikely to refuse. But he demands to be treated with kindness and respect.
According to the established traditions, it is customary to prepare separate treats for Zyuzya for the New Year, especially kutya, which the deity of winter adores. Kutia is placed in a deep plate intended for Zyuzi and left on the table or near the entrance to the house until morning.
Wendigo (North America)
Wendigo is a scary creature that lives in the dense northern forests. They say that once the Wendigo was a man, but this man committed a sin - or practiced black magic, or tasted human flesh.
In North American Indians, wendigo personifies winter cold, hunger, fierce cold, as well as various obsessions and bad desires.
Wendigo has very tall stature, long arms and legs. There are sharp claws on the fingers and toes. The Wendigo has no lips, it has a long blue tongue, and its mouth has many strong fangs. A winter creature from North American folklore sees poorly, is afraid of daylight and fire. But he has excellent hearing and a wonderful sense of smell. Wendigo catches the smell of a person at a great distance.
Wendigo is rarely chosen from forests. More often he guards victims among the snow-covered trees. Wendigo hunts people, while the process of hunting gives him great pleasure. Winter evil moves so quickly and quietly that it is almost impossible to spot a Wendigo in advance or run away from it. You can feel the presence of a wendigo only when the creature sneaks up close: a cadaverous smell emanates from its breath and body, which cannot be ignored.
Jack Frost or Ice Jack (Europe, Scandinavia)
Ice Jack is a classic character in German-Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon legends. In some legends, he is called the Old Man-Winter or Father-Winter (Winter Father).
Ice Jack penetrated into Anglo-Saxon mythology from Scandinavian legends. In the north, this character has always personified cold, frost and cold. According to the Scandinavians, Jack Frost is the alf and son of the winds, who is responsible for the snow and cold in the winter months.
Ice Jack is portrayed in different ways. In some legends, he appears as a teenager, mischievous and cheerful, who is only happy to frolic in the snow. In other legends, Ice Jack looks like an old man with a gray beard or a sturdy man with azure eyes and very fair skin.
It is impossible to see Ice Jack until he himself wishes it. This winter creature is usually neutral or even positive towards people. Ice Jack does not seek to harm a person, freeze him to death or cover him with snow. However, if he is offended or angry, Jack Frost will not control his emotions and can take cruel revenge.
In European countries, where people believe in Ice Jack, they say that it is he who draws intricate frosty patterns on the windows.
Kalyah Vare (Scotland)
This winter mythological creature is described as a female witch who patronizes wild animals. Kalah Vare is a winter spirit responsible for cold and snow.
Kalah Vare looks like a middle-aged woman with blue or grayish skin. She is tall, very thin. Some researchers of folklore and mythology suggest that in the distant past Kalyah Vare was revered as the goddess of fertility, winter and summer (at the same time), but gradually transformed into evil spirits.
Gorse and holly are the plants that Kalah Vare is associated with. Legends say that on May 1 the witch throws her magic staff under a gorse or holly bush, and then turns into a blue-gray cobblestone, "falling asleep" until next winter.
Yamavaro or Yamavarawa is a winter spirit from Japanese folklore. The Japanese consider the yamavaro to be the winter version of another mythological creature, the garappo. Most of the legends about the winter Japanese creature are told in Kumamoto Prefecture.
The Yamawaro has a small body, but long arms and legs. From a distance, the creature looks like a teenage boy. A short, surprisingly soft dark coat grows on the skin of the winter spirit. Yamawaro's hair is dark brown, shiny and long. A distinctive feature of the winter spirit is one huge eye located in the center of the forehead.
In a number of Japanese legends, the creature is represented as a mountain or lake spirit. With the onset of cold weather, the Yamavaro goes to the mountains, where random travelers can meet him. As a rule, a winter creature has a positive attitude towards people. If you offer him treats, the yamavaro will willingly help solve any issue or any problem.