Who is Grandfather Frost - Russian Santa Clause?

Who is Grandfather Frost - Russian Santa Clause?

14.08.2019
Russia & More
It is not a secret that many nations have their own unique Santa Clause, and Russia is no different. Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, is a beloved character of fairytales and children’s books who brings children presents on New Year’s ( which considered to be the main winter holiday, while Christmas is secondary in most families). 

Similarities between Santa Claus and Grandfather Frost

Russian traditions for celebrating New Year’s are very similar to Christmas traditions in the Western countries, so it may not come as a surprise that at first Santa Clause seems very similar to Ded Moroz, even though the latter has a blue coat instead of red. They are both elderly men with long white beards and long heavy coats. Both characters visit well-behaved children on one night of the year and give them presents. But did you know that Ded Moroz is actually quite different from Santa Clause? 

Morozko - a pagan god

Many centuries ago Grandfather frost was not considered to be a kind spirit who gives gifts to children. Instead, he went by the name Morozko, who was an evil god of cold and ice married to Winter. When christianity came about, the church tried to turn him into a demon in the eyes of the public, just like they did with other pagan gods. But Russian people chose to remember his as a wise and fair man, who always gave people a second chance.

Snegutochka - Ded Moroz’s granddaughter

Grandfather Frost is not called this way just because of his age, he actually has a granddaughter named Snegurochka, while Santa Claus has a wife. Snegurochka is not a real person though, she is made of snow, and she actually ended up melting in several old fairy tales. 

Grandfather Frost’s coat

In Russian folklore Ded Moroz traditionally appeared in a blue or even while coat, although today he can often be seen in red. However, his coat was never just plain - it was made to look like clothing that Russian noblemen would wear. You can often see intricate embroidery, gold details and fur
trimming. 

Where does Grandfather Frost live?

Unlike the situation with Santa Clause, where we know that he lives at the North Pole, but the exact location is unknown, we know precisely where Ded Moroz resides. It is a small town located just a few hours north of Moscow - Velikiy Ustyug. 

How does Grandfather Frost get around?

Ded Moroz  has to deliver lots of presents just in one night, so how does he get around Russia? Well, him and Santa Clause have similar taste, as both men choose a sleigh for their tasks. The main difference lies in who is pulling the sleigh. Santa Clause has his 12 reindeer, but Ded Moroz opts for a smaller crew of 3 horses - a troika. These horses represent the three months of winter. 
Who is Grandfather Frost - Russian Santa Clause?
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