THE PAW PAGE:   Reindeer

Elen Schurova

Photo: Elena Schurova

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * IT’S NOT NEW YEAR’S WITHOUT REINDEER and SNOW!  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

Deandeer1

Photo here and below: Dean Richardson

Deandeer2

 Next month we’ll have a story about “backyard” deer, the friendly “cousin” of reindeer.

Deandeer3
Dainty & Daisey

OF COURSE, it’s also not Christmas without reindeer or snow. But in Russia, New Year’s is our biggest holiday. On this day you feel only warmth and love. You can’t be mad or sad on this day. Everyone is friendly and happy. 

     There’s a Russian proverb that says, How you celebrate New Year’s, is how your year will go.  

    One of our traditions is to wear new clothes and look our best. On December 31st, all our family comes together to celebrate the new year. There is always a big, beautiful table filled with food. The food must be the best and the most delicious you can make. 

     People put up a fir tree with a star on top and other decorations. There’s also something else you must do on this day. You must put milk and cookies on the balcony before midnight. This is one of the most exciting moments for children because, after awhile, the milk and cookies disappear! They are for Father Frost who, as everyone knows, really likes milk and cookies. If Father Frost eats everything you leave him, it means you will get a wonderful present from him. In Russia and Ukraine, and in other Slavic countries, it is Father Frost who brings the presents.

     Father Frost is very similar to Santa Claus.  The Snow Maiden, his granddaughter, is his helper. She is always with her grandfather and helps him give the presents to children. They ride in a sleigh pulled by three reindeer.

Father frost stamp

     One of the traditions before New Year’s Day is to send Father Frost a postcard. The postcard is to tell him the gift you want, and the gifts your family wants. Usually the youngest child in the family writes the postcard as soon as he or she learns to write. You have to explain that you were good all year and listened to your parents. You should be very polite in what you write and write it very beautifully. After you finish the postcard, you put it next to the window, where Father Frost can find it.  —  Marina 

[Marina’s native language is Russian.]

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 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com