Ayaz Ata

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Ayaz Ata (Uzbek: Ayoz Bobo, Kyrgyz: Аяз Ата, Kazakh:Аяз Ата, Turkmen: Аяз Баба or Ayaz Baba) is a winter god[1] and a fictional tale character that it represents who in some Turkic cultures plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus or Russian Ded Moroz. The literal translation of the name would be "Frost Father", although the name is often translated as "Grandfather Frost". He was created of Moon light and caused by cold weather.[1]


Literary depictions of Ayaz Ata commonly show him accompanied by Kar Kız (Tatar: Кар Кызы or Qar Qızı means "Snow Girl" or "Snow Maiden"), his granddaughter and helper, sometimes with influence of Russian Snegurochka,[2] who often depicted in long silver-blue robes and a furry cap or a snowflake-like crown. She is a unique attribute of Ayaz Ata; no traditional gift-givers from other cultures are portrayed with a similar companion.

The traditional appearance of Ayaz Ata resembles that of Ded Moroz, with his coat, boots and long white beard. Specifically, Ayaz Ata is often shown wearing a heel-length fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and valenki or jackboots on his feet. Unlike Santa Claus, he is often depicted as walking with a long magical staff. He is often depicted in long silver-blue robes and a snowflake-like crown.

In Azerbaijan[edit]

In Azerbaijani, Ayaz Ata is known as Şaxta Baba ("Grandfather Frost") and his companion grandchild is known as Qar Qızı ("Snow Girl"). Şaxta Baba brings gifts to children at New Year celebrations, however Qar Qızı is rarely present at the festivities.

In Bashkortostan[edit]

In Bashkir, Ayaz Ata is known as Ҡыш бабай (Qïš babay, literally: "Winter Father"), and his granddaughter is known as Ҡарһылыу (Qarhïlïw, "Snow beauty").[3][4]

In Tatarstan[edit]

In Tatar culture Ayaz Ata is known as Qış Babay (Кыш Бабай, literally: "Winter Grandfather") and Russian Snegurochka is known as Qar Qızı (Кар Кызы "Snow Girl").[5][6]

In Yakutia[edit]

Chys Khan (Sakha: Чисхан, Turkish: Kış Han, "Winter King") is known as the master of cold, accompanied by the snow maiden Khaarchana (Sakha: Хаарчаана).[7][8][9]

In Kyrgyzstan[edit]

Аяз Ата (Ayaz Ata) is the same Kyrgyz name.


  1. ^ a b Türk Söylence Sözlüğü (Turkish Mythology Dictionary), Deniz Karakurt, (OTRS: CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. ^ "Snegurochka: The Snow Maiden in Russian Culture by Kerry Kubilius". About.com. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  3. ^ Wiktionary - Ҡарһылыу
  4. ^ Wikisource, Ҡарһылыу (хикәйә) - Йыһат Солтанов
  5. ^ "Qış Babay and Qar Qızı, Tatar Santa and Snow Maiden respectively, Dec 26, 2009". Ria Novosti. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  6. ^ Кар кызы (хикәя) Яңарыш газетасы (Yanarysh journal), Ринат Батталов, 29 декабрь 2012 ел
  7. ^ The Official Karelia Website
  8. ^ Как зовут Деда Мороза в разных странах? Якутии – Чисхан
  9. ^ Стрела; Дед Мороз и все-все-все Якутия - Чисхан

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