Russian New Year’s Traditions

Russia is one of the six “northern” countries that inherit the legend about Ded Maroz (Santa Claus) as its nationality. In the Russian version of the legend about Santa Claus, he lives in the town of Great Ustjuga near Moscow. However, the Russians consider that they have the territorial rights to the North so, anyway, Santa Claus is Russian, and they call him Ded Maroz.


Russian Ded Maroz, in contrast to the Western model of Santa Claus, does not use nine reindeers, but his slay is worn by three horses – the famous “Russian troika”, and instead of the elves, he is assisted by his companion Snegurocka (Snow-white).


According to the legend, Snegurocka is Ded Maroz’s granddaughter, a blond girl with long hair and blue eyes, dressed in a white and blue dress. It is obvious that the character of Elsa from the popular cartoon film “Frozen” was inspired by Snegurocka.


Russian Ded Maroz does not differ much from the western Santa Claus, but his beard is a bit longer and he doesn’t have red color clothing, you can see him in blue or white-blue costume.


New Year’s Day is a family holiday for many Russians. The Russian national anthem begins at midnight and people congratulate each other and exchange presents. Some people go out to make a snowman or light fire crackers in their backyards. People may celebrate the day at a friend’s house or attend the fireworks in their city like the most of us.

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