Ded Moroz' Birthday


View slideshow of Ded Moroz and his residence in Veliky Ustyug

According to a newly created legend, Ded Moroz was born on November 18th in Veliky Ustyug, a small town in the Vologda region. The date of the magician's birthday was chosen by weather chart makers as their long-term observations register that on that very day the ground of Veliky Ustyug is usually covered with a heavy snow blanket. No one knows his exact age. Although experts insist his career began more than 150 years ago, the first mentions of his appearance in noble Russian families on Christmas and New Year eve date back to the beginning of the 19th century.

On his birthday Ded Moroz lights up the first Christmas tree in Veliky Ustyug's main square with his magic staff, thus kicking off the festive season. The giant New Year’s tree from mid-November onwards becomes a festive focal point of Veliky Ustyug. It never fails to delight thousands of visitors, both young and old alike. Festive performances, fireworks, sport events and concerts are part of the program.

By the well-established tradition, many guests arrive in Veliky Ustyug to congratulate Ded Moroz. More than 20 fairy-tale characters from the Russian regions and from foreign countries, including Father Frosts of Ukraine and Belarus, the Snow Maiden from Kostroma in the Volga Region, young Pakkaine from Petrozavodsk, Chyshaan - the Lord of Cold of Yakutia, Sagan Ubugun White Monk from the Buryat Republic, Tol Babay from Bashkiria and others arrive in Veliky Ustyug every year. Of course, children from all parts of Russia are there too. His friends from other Russian cities, far-abroad countries and the near abroad usually gather in Veliky Ustyug on this special occasion.

The guests arrive at the official residence of Ded Moroz in Veliky Ustyug. It is in traditional "terem" style. The residence welcomes visitors all year around, but naturally it is especially popular during the New Year's holiday season. The residence has a throne hall, a museum, a workshop, a mail post and a souvenir shop.

Special tourist from Moscow and other parts of Russia bring boys and girls who are winners of different contests and Olympiads.

A large theatricalized performance with the participation of fairy-tale characters from other Russian regions and foreign countries opens the holiday in Ded Moroz’s residence.

When it gets dark Father Frost will light the first fir-tree lamps and set out from his fiefdom congratulating the people of Russia on New Year's Eve.

During his traditional pre New Year trip he visits all cities and settlements of the country and gives long-awaited presents to children before New Year. People living abroad also wait for the winter wizard, so Ded Moroz comes to Germany, Finland, Latvia, Slovakia and other countries. In each of the cities, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) carry out numerous unforgettable parties both for children and grown-ups, present thousands of gifts and create dozens of New Year’s greetings.

The Project GLONASS guides Ded Moroz’s way during his pre-New Year trip. The global positioning system GLONASS broadens the confines of the holiday and allows children in various countries to follow their favorite wizard’s journey.