Sneghurochka (Snegurka)

Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden, is a popular seasonal figure in Russian culture. In her most recognizable form, she is Ded Moroz's granddaughter and companion as he delivers gifts to good children in celebration of the New Year. The older incarnation of Snegurochka can be seen on Russian lacquer boxes and on nesting dolls – this Snegurochka is a character from a fairy tale that does not relate directly to the Ded Moroz legend. Whether you're traveling to Russia during winter or you're shopping for souvenirs, you'll want to be familiar with the story of Snegurochka and other popular tales about Christmas time and winter.

 



Snegurochka and Ded Moroz

In the Ded Moroz legend, Snegurochka is the Russian Santa Claus's granddaughter and helper and lives with him in Veliky Ustyug . She is most commonly depicted with long silver-blue robes and a furry cap. Just as Ded Moroz appears in various interpretations during the holiday season impersonated by men in costume, so does Snegurochka assume new guises around Russia to help distribute gifts. Snegurochka's name is derived from the Russian word for snow, 'sneg'.

Snegurochka of Russian Fairy Tales

The tale of Snegurochka , or The Snow Maiden , is often beautifully depicted on hand-painted Russian crafts. This Snegurochka is the daughter of Spring and Winter who appears to a childless couple as a winter blessing. Unable or forbidden to love, Snegurochka remains indoors with her human parents until the pull of the outdoors and the urge to be with her peers becomes unbearable. When she falls in love with a human boy, she melts.

The story of Snegurochka has been adapted into plays, movies, and an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov.


"Snegurochka" (1899) by Victor Vasnetsov