Ded Moroz (Дед Моро́з) or Father Frost, the Slavic version of Santa Claus, is a symbol of Russian winter and New Year’s holiday season. He is usually accompanied by his granddaughter Snegurochka (Снегу́рочка), his beautiful granddaughter, companion, and helper. They both ride in a traditional Russian troika (тро́йка), a sleigh drawn by three horses abreast.
Ded Moroz has a number of distinguishing features that help tell him apart from Santa Clause unmistakably. First of all, unlike Santa, Ded Moroz is rather tall and slender. Also, he never wears glasses. His outfit is different as well. Instead of wearing the Western Santa-style cap, he has a rounded Russian cap generously trimmed with fur and embroidered with pearls. His coat could be red, silver, or icy blue. It is always ankle long and embroidered with silvery stars and crosses. Besides, Ded Moroz wears mittens and a wide white sash. His footwear is also luxurious – high boots with silver ornamentation; however, on exceptionally cold days, Ded Moroz can opt for valenki (ва́ленки -boiled-wool boots). Finally, he always appears with his pikestaff (по́сох), made either of silver or crystal.
Santa Claus vs. Father Frost. Дед Мороз и Санта Клаус
What's the difference between the two guys delivering presents on the holiday season?
Image: RIA Novosti
Почта Деда Мороза
Каждый год Дед Мороз получает почти 200 000 писем от детей. Русские дети (и взрослые тоже!) посылают письма по почте Деду Морозу в его резиденцию в городе Великий Устюг, который находится в Вологодской области на севере европейской части России.
Фотография: Evgenya Novozhenina / RIA Novosti
Just by looking at the picture, can you guess the meaning of the word "почта"?
Did you understand everything in the story? Check out with the English translation.
Every year Ded Moroz receives almost 200,000 letters from children. Russians kids (and adults!) send letters by mail to Ded Moroz's official residence in Veliky Ustyug, in the northeast corner of the Vologda Region in the north of European Russia.
Vocabulary on topic
получа́ть / получи́ть (что? (Acc.) от кого́? (Gen.) = to receive (something from somebody)
отправля́ть / отпра́вить + (что? (Acc.) кому́? (Dat.) = to send something to somebody)
письмо́ -> письмо́ (пи́сьма) (Acc.) = letter(s)
Дед Мороз -> Деду Морозу (Dat.) = to Ded Moroz
дети -> от детей (Gen.) = from children
Где живёт Дед Мороз
Unlike his Western counterpart Santa Clause, Russian Father Frost doesn’t live on the North Pole. His official residence is in Veliky Ustyug (Великий Устюг), in the northeast corner of the Vologda Region in the north of European Russia.
Click on the picture below to read and listen to the story about the city and what Ded Moroz’ residence is like.