According to Levi Strauss, Father Christmas conveys a distinction in identity:
A child on one side and an adult on the other, which involves the two customs of transitional rites and initiation rites.
Among the Katsina tribe of southern American Indians, for example, adults wear costumes and masks at specific moments to portray deities or ancestors. They regularly return to their villages where they dance to punish or reward small children, at which point the child cannot recognise his or her parents or relatives.
Levi-Strauss points out that the mythological aspect of the Katsina initiation ritual is overlooked: in local tribal mythology, the Katsina are the dead spirits of early Aboriginal children who were drowned in the river during the migration of their ancestors, so that the Katsina are both proof of death and a testimony to the existence of life after death.
The Katsina return to the area each year and take children with them on their way out. The Aborigines, fearing the loss of their offspring, promised Katsina that they would play Katsina every year in masks and dances in the hope that Katsina would stay in the underworld. Similar characters exist in the mythology of other tribes, such as the Finger Gnawing Demon and the Whip Daddy.

It is in the initiation rituals of Katsina that small children take on the role of Katsina, not with masks and the living, but with the spirits and the dead, walking with the spirits that the dead have become.
Going back to Christmas, in medieval Christmas children would sing songs calling on the spirits of the dead, go from house to house singing and giving their blessings in exchange for fruit and cake, playing the role of the dead. Today, adults act as Father Christmas at Christmas, bringing care to children through gift exchange. On Christmas Eve, adults serve communion to the uninitiated, with guests playing the role of the dead, just as children play the role of angels (the dead). Finally, the dead leave the living laden with gifts, leaving them to live in peace until the following autumn. Through this means, the Christmas gift becomes a real sacrifice in the search for a better existence, provided
The premise is not to die.

In summary, Levi-Strauss argues that the existence of Father Christmas and his associated rituals in real life highlights the ‘opposition between adults and children’, and that behind this opposition lies a deeper opposition between the ‘living and the dead’.
Ritualistically, this is a process of testimony, the main steps of which are: the return of the dead, with their threats and acts of persecution, and their agreement with the living, in exchange for services and gifts, and the triumph of life. And in a society full of the living, only the enlightened are are entitled to be transformed into the dead. They are as opposed to each other as a mirror is to a mirror The child stands in opposition to the mirror, repeating itself endlessly.
“If the children’s toys come from another world, we can keep keep our children.” This is perhaps a pretext for a secret campaign to encourage us to give toys to our children. We are encouraged to give toys to the other world so that they can be passed on to children.





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