December 13, 2015

Jack Frost

Jack Frost is the personification of frost, ice, snow, sleet, and freezing cold weather, a variant of Old Man Winter, who is another personification of the winter season, held responsible for frosty weather, for nipping the nose and toes during the cold winter months, colouring the leaves in autumn, and leaving fern frost on cold windows on chilly winter mornings.

Starting in late 19th century literature, more filled-out characterizations of Jack Frost have made him into a sprite-like character. He sometimes appears as a sinister mischief maker or as a hero.  He may be portrayed as an older man, a young adult, or even a teenager.

He may originate from Anglo-Saxon and Norse winter customs. In Russia however, he has taken on a different form as Grandfather Frost, and in Germany there is instead a different entity altogether. There are various other mythological beings who take on a similar role yet have different folklore to them.

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

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