The Holiday Gift-Givers: Santa Claus and Father Frost

By Marissa Polascak,

Salem, readers! Sorry I haven’t written in a while; I have been working retail during one of the busiest times of the year. That’s right. You guessed it. Christmas time! For the entire month of December I have merrily sung along to Christmas songs played on the radio at work, while customers walked by me in Christmas sweaters adorned with bells, penguins, and various depictions of Santa Claus.

Yeah, Santa Claus! You know; the jolly guy with the white beard and the rosy cheeks. The guy who lives alllllllll the way up there in the North Pole and has a toy workshop run by cute,  little elves. The revered gift-giver that leaves presents under family Christmas trees all over the world and leaves a trail of cookie crumbs when he leaves.

The Santa Claus that I am thinking about looks like this:


Image Source: Wikipedia

But depending on where you are on this earth, Santa Claus may be called something different, like Père Noël, or may wear green instead of red.

And while Santa Claus in the United States is associated with the Christmas holiday, the Kazakhstani Santa is associated with the major Kazakh holiday of New Year’s Eve. And the Kazakh Santa Claus isn’t called Santa Claus at all. His name in Kazakh is Ayaz Ata, or, Father Frost.  Father Frost is a Santa-like figure, and is a winter fairy from Slavic folklore. He is known for carrying presents in a large bag behind his back, and delivering these gifts to children for the New Year.  Father Frost’s appearance is similar to the American Santa Claus, but may also be depicted in blue or silver garments instead of red.

Father Frost looks a little like this:


Image Source:

Ayaz Ata is often accompanied by a female figure named Kar Kiz, or, Snow Maiden. She is a beautiful girl who is also the grand-daughter of and helper to Father Frost.  She is mostly portrayed in a long blue robe with a snowflake reminiscent crown.

She looks like this:


Image Source:

Though the American Santa Claus is associated with Christmas, and Father Frost of Kazakhstan is associated with New Year’s Eve, the personality and actions of the two figures represent the same ideal: generosity, joy, warmth, happiness, hope, peace, love, and family.

Kazakhworld wishes all of our readers a happy holiday season, and a very wonderful New Year! Be safe, have fun, and spread the cheer. Oh, and we hope that Father Frost brings you awesome presents, too! ☺

Sources: Wikipedia;