Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jack Frost, the artist of Winter

There isn't much written or known about the character that has became known to us as Jack Frost.
     In English folklore he was known as a sprite or fairy of winter. He is a great artist who takes pride in his artwork. The design of the ice crystals on your windows during the winter months is credited to Jack Frost's talent. They say there is no snowflake alike. Even though I haven't fount any information crediting Jack Frost to the designing of snow flakes, I feel that he is their creator or when you get up in the morning and you see frost all over the ground making the scene look like a winter wonderland.
     Jack Frost has roots in Viking lore which was adopted by the English being that the Vikings invaded England and the stories were passed down from generation to generation. In the Scandinavian lore he is known as Jokul or Iokul meaning 'icicle' and Frosti meaning 'frost'.  Jack can be considered a variant of Old Man Winter.
     He is sometimes shown with a paintbrush and merrily creating his wintry masterpieces. He can appear in different forms, sometimes as a child, a 'snow man', or as an old man. Jack Frost is not only held responsible for creating those crystal designs on your windows but also for nipping your nose and toes and the foliage in the autumn months.
     In some traditions, Jack Frost is thought to be a child of Mother Earth and in some the child of the wind possible the North or West wind or maybe a son of the Norse god of the wind Kari.
     In Scandinavian lore, Jokul was a citzen of Jotunheim within the Nine realms of Asgard. The realm of the frost giants. Jokul was considered a prince but not with a cold heart as the rest of the Frost Giants but with a merrily heart and spirit who liked playing tricks during those cold winter months and running around the country side showing off his artwork.
     The only trace that I found of his transition from Jokul or Iokul to Jack Frost is thought to be credited to the Grimm Brothers who wrote their famous fairy tales.

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