Ded Moroz “Russian Santa”

Ded Moroz is a legendary figure similar to Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus who has his roots in Slavic paganism mythology. The tradition of Ded Moroz is mostly spread in East Slavic countries and is an important part of Russian culture. Although at the beginning of the Soviet era communists banned Ded Moroz he soon became an important part of the Soviet culture. The literal translation is “Grandfather Frost”.

Ded Moroz is depicted as bringing presents to well-mannered children, often delivering them in person in December days and secretly under the Christmas tree on night at 31 December on New Year’s Eve.

In East Slavic cultures, Ded Moroz is accompanied by Snegurochka his granddaughter and helper, who wears long silver-blue robes and a furry cap or a snowflake-like crown. She is a unique attribute of Ded Moroz, since similar characters in other cultures do not have a female companion. Often Snegurochka is called Nastenka (Nastya), the diminutive of Anastasia.

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