Monday, December 19, 2011
Babushka - The Gift Giver
During the communist era, many religious traditions were suppressed. Before the Russian Revolution, a figure called Babushka would bring gifts for the children. (Babushka means Grand Mother in Russian)
According to the legends, Babushka is a grandmother, who was to busy to accompany the Three Wise Men to visit Baby Jesus Christ. When Babushka felt guilty of her deed, she took a basket full of gifts and set out on her own to find Baby Jesus. However, due to her refusal to accompany the Three Wise Men, she failed to find the Christ Child, having arrived too late to find him at the Manger.
According to tradition, she still roams the countryside searching for the Christ Child and visits the homes of children during the Christmas season, leaving presents as she goes. Although Babushka never completely disappeared, today is has been replaced primarily by Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden: Snegurochka.
In this re-telling by Sandra Ann Horn, Babushka actually finds the Christ Child. “Babushka sets out to find the child, bringing a warm shawl and other presents. Along the way, she meets several people in need and generously gives away her gifts. Imagine her surprise when she reaches the stable and sees the baby wrapped in her shawl with the other presents nearby.”