Fascinated by the name of this Christmas celebrity, I have chosen a Slavic version of Santa Claus for today's Christmas Countdown Character.
D is for Ded Moroz ... Ded Moroz can be translated as "Old Man Frost" or Father Frost who is like a Russian Santa Claus. Traditionally shown as a tall and slender older gentleman, Ded Moroz has a long white beard, and is usually dressed in winter colours, red or icy blue. Most images also show him carrying a long staff.
Ded Moroz delivers gifts on New Year's Eve rather than on Christmas Eve due to the shifting of this tradition to the more secular holiday during Soviet times. While both tundra and forest reindeer are plentiful in Russia and Siberia, his preferred mode of transport is " troika", drawn by three powerful white horses, representing the three months of Winter. And no rosy cheeked matronly Mrs Claus for
Instead of the North Pole, the Russian Santa Claus officially makes his home a few hours away from Moscow in Veliky Ustug, where many people visit Ded Moroz to have their festive season wishes granted.