Summary “The Night Before Christmas”

The story “The Night Before Christmas” was written by NV Gogol in 1830 – 1832. The first edition of the work was published in 1832 in the printing house of A. Plushar. The story is included in the well-known cycle of the writer “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka”. In “Nights Before Christmas” Gogol with humor depicted poeticized rural life on a festive day, unfolding a story about the love story of blacksmith Vakula and the daughter of the rich Cossack Oksana.

Main characters

Vakula is a blacksmith, a “strongman and a little boy”, while in his free time he was engaged in “magic”, he was in love with Oksana and flew to St. Petersburg on the line to get the queen’s tits for her.

Oksana – the daughter of the Cossack Chuba, Vakula’s beloved, she “was not yet seventeen years old”, “was capricious as a beauty.”

The devil – disliked Vakul for drawing

him in a bad light, drove a blacksmith to Petersburg.

Other characters

Chub is a rich Cossack, a widower, father of Oksana.

Solokha – a witch, mother of Vakula, “had from birth no more than forty years”.

Puzatoy Patsyuk is a witch doctor, a former Cossack who has lived in Dikanka for many years.

The head, the deacon, the cousin Panas, the queen Catherine.


In Dikanka there was a winter, clear night before Christmas. Suddenly, a witch flew on a broom from a pipe in one of the huts and, rising to the sky, began to collect the stars in a sleeve. On the other hand, the devil appeared in the sky. He hid the month in his pocket, and immediately it became dark. He did it to Cossack Chub to be lazy to walk in the dark and stay at home, and therefore the smith Vakula could not come to his daughter Oksana. So the devil wanted to take revenge on the blacksmith, who drew him to shame in the picture with the Last Judgment.


Chub, along with Panas, expecting the “good drinking” from the clerk out of the house of the Kozak, and they

see that the month is gone in the sky, and it’s completely dark outside. After hesitating, they nevertheless decide to continue their journey.


While Chub left, Oksana, remaining alone at home, admired herself in front of the mirror. Behind this case Vakula came to see the girl. The smith turns to Oksana with gentle speeches, but she only laughs and mocks him. The vexed Vakula decides that the girl does not love him.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and the smith went to open it.


The frost increased, so the devil with the witch descended through the chimney to her house. The witch was none other than Vakula’s mother Solokha. She knew how to enchant men so much that many Cossacks of the village went to her, while none of them knew about the rivals. Among all the fans Solokha singled out the rich Czaba Chub.

Meanwhile, when the devil descended into the chimney, he noticed Chub and made a violent blizzard, trying so to bring him home.


And really – seeing nothing because of the blizzard, Chub decided to go back and they split with the godfather in different directions. Upon reaching his hut, the Cossack knocked, but, hearing Vakula’s indignant cry, decided that it was not his house, and changed his voice. Not recognizing in the Chub that came, the smith beat the Cossack. Then Chub, judging that if Vakula is here, then he is not at home, he went to Solokha.


While the devil flew from the pipe and back, the month flew from the “ladunki” hanging on his side and rose to the sky. “Everything was lit up, the snowstorms were unprecedented.” On the street, crowds of caroling couples and girls with bags appeared.

The girls hurried to the house of Chub. Oksana noticed one of the girls new cherevichki and sad, that she had no one to get a beautiful new thing. Then Vakula himself volunteered to get “such cherevichki, which a rare pannochka wears.” Joking, Oksana said that only those that the queen herself wears will suit her, and if the smith gets them, she will marry him.


To the person sitting with the devil Soloha suddenly comes a stout head. While the woman opened the door, the unclean hid in a sack. The head managed only to drink a glass of vodka and say that because of the blizzard did not get to the clerk, as the door again knocked – it was the deacon himself. Solokha hid her head in the second bag. However, the conversation between the woman and the deacon was soon interrupted – Cologub Chub came to Solokha. The hostess hid in the third bag of the deacon, and soon in the same bag was Chub, who did not want to see Vakula, who had come to his mother.

While Solokha left for the next visitor, the blacksmith takes away all three bags and, saddened by Oksana’s mockeries, does not even notice their severity.


On the street Vakula meets caroling. Oksana, laughing, again repeats her condition for everyone. Frustrated Vakula threw the bags on the ground and, taking with him the smallest, said goodbye to everyone and ran away.


Vakula decides to go to the local witch doctor – Puzat Patsyuk – “he is said to know all the devils and will do whatever he wants.” Patsyuk’s outpost after eating dumplings first, and after dumplings that flew in the mouth to the owner, Vakula asks him how to find a damn thing to ask for that help. To this the medicine man answered him: “Tom does not need to go far, who has the devil behind his shoulders.” Afraid of flying to his mouth a quick varenik, Vakula runs away from Patsyuk.

Hearing the blacksmith’s words, the devil immediately jumped out of the bag and offered to sign a contract, signing it with blood. However, Vakula grabbed a line by the tail. Baptizing the unclean, the blacksmith saddled him and forced him to be taken to St. Petersburg to the queen.


Oksana notices the bags left by Vakula and suggests that they be taken away. While the girls were following the sled, the bag with Chub and the deacon takes to him the coma that left the tavern. During the quarrel between Panas and his wife for the contents of the bag, Chub and the clerk climbed out of the bag, explaining that they had decided to make such a joke.


The girls took the remaining bag to Oksana. At that time Chub returned home and, finding an embarrassed head in the bag, was outraged by Solokha’s cunning.


Having reached St. Petersburg, the devil turned his horse, and then, at the behest of Vakula, declined and hid himself in his pocket. The smith finds the acquaintances of the Cossacks, and with the help of the unclean receives the agreement to go with them to the queen.

In the palace of the Cossacks and Vakula met Potemkin, and then the queen herself. When Catherine asked the Zaporozhians, with what request they came to her, the blacksmith immediately fell at the feet of the queen, asking for his wife the same lovely cobblers as hers. Catherine cheered his innocence, and she ordered to bring the most expensive shoes with gold. Praising the queen’s legs, the blacksmith, pushed by the Cossacks, stepped back and the devil immediately transferred him “for the slabbaum”.


According to Dikanka at this time, there were already rumors that Vakula either drowned, or hung himself. Hearing about this, Oksana was very upset – he loved her, and now, perhaps, he left the village forever or disappeared altogether. Vakula did not appear after the Mass.


The blacksmith got back even faster, and, after hurling three strokes with a twig, released him. Having come home, Vakula immediately fell asleep and overslept until the Mass. Having woken up, the smith took with him the shoes of the queen for Oksana and the hat and belt for Chub and went to the Cossack. After the consent of the father to the matchmaking, the embarrassed girl said that she was ready to marry Vakul “and without terns.”


Having married, the blacksmith painted his entire house, and in the church he painted a hell in hell – “so nasty that everyone spat when they passed by.”


In the story “The Night Before Christmas” Gogol reveals the theme of folk life, depicting a number of typical rural characters – the clever and powerful blacksmith Vakula, the beautiful and narcissistic Oksana, the stupid and rich Chub, the cunning Solokha and others. Introducing mythical characters into the narrative, the author brings the plot of the work closer to the fairy-tale character, thus twisting in the novels the techniques of realism and romanticism.

A brief retelling of “The Nights Before Christmas” describes the main plot of the work, but for a better understanding of the story, we recommend you familiarize yourself with its full version.

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Summary “The Night Before Christmas”