Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ded Moroz and Santa Claus: 10 Differences

I found the above in an article just posted yesterday on the Moscow News at Pay a visit to Grandfather Frost. It was a nice image and chart so I wanted to share although many of you are done with Santa for another year.

Ded Moroz is Grandfather Frost, Russia's version of Santa Claus, or sort of, if you look at the chart.

From the article:

Even on the coldest winter days, the Moscow residence of Ded Moroz isn't deserted. Children come to play and to see the main magician of New Year's in Russia, Ded Moroz.

Although Ded Moroz's main residence is situated in the northern town of Veliky Ustyug, he often comes to Moscow's Kuzminki Park where he has a house in traditional "terem" style. It was built six years ago along with the terem house of his granddaughter and companion, Snegurochka the Snow Maiden.

Visiting the residence can be fun for adults as well, mostly because the idea behind it is to recreate a fairy tale - and fairy tale elements are recognised and loved not only by children.

This place resembles a theme park in an Old Russian style. Besides the houses of the main New Year's holiday characters, there are slides, a skating rink, a theatre and other fun objects.

In the house of Ded Moroz, you can see his bedroom and dining room, his magical staff and other attributes of his power - not to mention having an opportunity to meet Ded Moroz in person.

Snegurochka's separate house has a traditional Russian stove, a magical mirror and other fancy things which she will tell you about. On the second floor is a peculiar exhibition of New Year's trees decorated in the styles of different epochs. To view tree decorations as a reflection of time is an interesting way to learn about history, and children tend to like it.

Visiting the post office of Ded Moroz, where all the children's requests are gathered and read, is exciting as well.

"We get letters from all over the world," said Ded Moroz's mail keeper, Galina Lyubimova. "Of course the majority of mail comes from Russia, especially from Moscow and the Moscow region. But lots of people from the provinces also write to Ded Moroz and hope he will drop them a few lines in reply. Last year we got more than 20,000 letters, 15,000 of which were answered. The rest of them simply didn't have a return address.

You can also see more at Moscow Residence of Ded Moroz. The website is colorful but it certainly helps to read Russian to enjoy it. And I don't read Russian...

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