Easter Island holiday

Dan Piraro’s Xmas card today, from the vast emptiness of the southeastern Pacific:

(#1)

(This could also be seen as Christmas in Chile, since Easter Island belongs to Chile.)

The play here is visual: the ancient stone figures of men on Easter Island —

(#2)

— treated as analogous to the snowmen figures of Christmas (here, with lumps of coal for eyes and carrots for noses; but no hats or scarves).

The snowmen of popular culture in lands with significant snow aren’t ancient, but they might be older than you would have thought, certainly older that the now-standard representation of Santa Claus:

(#3)¬†Cartoonist Thomas Nast drew several depictions of Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly, establishing the contemporary image of this Christmas legend. This cartoon comes from around 1881.

On the snowmen of popular culture, from Wikipedia:

Documentation of the first snowman is unclear. However, Bob Eckstein, author of The History of the Snowman documented snowmen from medieval times, by researching artistic depictions in European museums, art galleries, and libraries. The earliest documentation he found was a marginal illustration from a work titled Book of Hours from 1380, found in Koninklijke Bibliotheek, in The Hague. The earliest known photograph of a snowman was taken in 1853 by Welsh photographer Mary Dillwyn, the original of which is in the collections of the National Library of Wales.

Cartoonist Bob Eckstein is an old acquaintance on this blog; there is a Page devoted to him.

As for Christmas Island, it’s truly tropical; it’s¬†an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, lying south of Java, Indonesia.

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