Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #4

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
Ded Moroz, he is accompanied by his  young, blonde and beautiful snow maiden granddaughter, Snegurochka. This legendary female figure also dresses in the wintry colors of the season to assist Father Frost in his efforts to distribute gifts. Together they fight off the wicked witch Baba Yaga, who, children are often told, will steal their gifts. Ded Moroz and Snegurochka personally deliver gifts - there is no secrecy surrounding their arrival in the dark of night.
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.

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