It is the night before Christmas and devilry is afoot. The devil steals the moon and hides it in his pocket. He is thus free to run amok and inflicts all sorts of wicked mischief upon the village of Dikanka by unleashing a snowstorm. But the one he’d really like to torment is the town blacksmith, Vakula, who creates paintings of the devil being vanquished. Vakula is in love with Oksana, but she will have nothing to do with him. Vakula, however, is determined to win her over, even if it means battling the devil.
Taken from Nikolai Gogol’s first successful work, the story collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, The Night Before Christmas is available here for the first time as a stand-alone novella and is a perfect introduction to the great Russian satirist.