Snow White and Santa Claus are a classic duo that bring joy to young and old alike with presents around the holidays. Although the origins of the image of Santa Claus are familiar to most, few know how Snow White came to be.
Santa Claus and Snow White are emblematic characters in Russia, who bring presents on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as well.
There has been confusion between the Snow White from the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves fairy tale and the Russian Snow White. Her role as Santa Claus's companion comes from Russian fairy tales.
One of the tales which served as a prototype for Snow White was the story of a lonely elderly couple who decided to make a girl out of snow. They became so fond of her that they took her inside their home and after placing her by the stove the girl came alive and they named her Snow White.
In the sad version of the tale however, the girl dies from the heat of the stove and the grandma and grandpa are once again left without a child to love.
In Russian folklore, Snow White is the child of Santa Claus and Spring. She was as cold as the snow, hence her name. Snow White was unable to experience warm feelings such as love and asked her mother to grant her this ability.
But when Spring aimed a beam of sunlight at her, Snow White melted. Tchaikovsky wrote music about the fairy tale and Snegurochka became one of his most popular works.
The tragic version of the snowy beauty inspired another famous Russian artist - Vladimir Dal. He wrote a story in which Snow White was the granddaughter of Santa Claus, who helped him give out presents to well-behaved children before New Year's.
This same tale gave birth to the tradition where Santa Claus and Snow White visit people's homes every New Year's Eve with a sack of presents. The holiday custom was popularized in 1935, leading to our modern notions of Snow White.