AROUND CHRISTMAS, THE NUTCRACKER
These days, the Christian world is preparing to celebrate Christmas, the Anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ , fixed on 25th December.
It is undoubtedly the celebration that most involves the whole society in Christian countries in Europe and North and south America…… a kind of “Christian Dashain” !!
The streets light up, people run to buy presents and food, families and friends meet for dinners and lunches, exchanging greetings for good health, peace and joy.
Some objects and characters strictly belong to this period: Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, candles and stars, lights, nativity scenes….
In the homes, families regroup.. and here the grandparents are often urged to tell stories, tales and legends to the children.
Today, some of these stories have crossed the borders of Christian countries through television, cinema and social Networks: the Legend of the Snow Queen for example , that of the red-nose reindeer or the candy cane….
Today, like a grandmother to her grandchildren on Christmas days, I would like to tell you about THE NUTCRACKER. This fantasy story comes from Germany , Erzgebirge metalliferous region, on the border with Poland.
It dates back to the 16th century as an oral tradition but has been written by the German writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus HOFFMAN and published in 1816.
Later, in 1844, the famous French writer Alexandre DUMAS, translated and reworked the story which over time has had various titles, latest to date, “THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MAGIC FLUTE” (2022) as cartoon.
The most famous version of all is undoubtedly the opera ballet with music by the Russian great musician Piotr Ilitch TCHAÏKOVSKI and the historical French choreographer Marius PETIPA.
The first performance, on 18 December 1892, was for the Tsar Alexander the Third at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersbourg. It was a huge success.
Sine then, the ballet has been performed all over the world, especially during Christmas period thanks to its fairy-tale content.
What did the original legend tells?
Legend has it that, about many many years ago, in a remote village in the mountains of Germany on the border with Poland lived a farmer.
He was a very rich person, but with a stone heart and because of his bad temper, he had neither one family or friend .
Every Christmas, he spent alone in his little house in front of the fire to crush the nuts produced by the trees of him.
Got old and tired of his job, he decided to ask for help from inhabitants of the country.
He offered a reward to whoever was able to invent “something” to crush nuts without getting tired.
Many showed up people with the strangest and most peculiar achievements but none of these thrilled the farmer.
Until a poor old man knocked on his door …..
He was a wood carver and carried a shape in wood with the features of a soldier.
It was painted in bright colors and its peculiarity was the jaw, capable of cracking nuts.
The farmer appreciated this “soldier” so much, the nutcracker, that his heart of stone melted.
Later, he donated all of his possessions to those who had them need and became loved by all the of the country.
The “Nutcracker Soldier” thus became one of the most important German symbols of history and part of Christmas Traditions.
Still in people’s hearts, he represents protection, luck , dreams, kindness …. and the story… a way to be a better person.
I’m very HAPPY, through this little tale, to send to my friends as Nepalnamcha readers and to the editor, my best Christmas wishes for good health, serenity and joy!
Yes… it is true, many of us will not make much sense to send greetings on this day….. but I think I respect the spirit of Nepal Namcha saying that really we are all very similar ..
So HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU !….in three precious “H” : HEALTH, HOPE, HAPPINESS.
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