Ded Moroz and Santa Claus, both of this holiday icon are the most waited figure in Christmas and New Years. For who never comes to Russia , it will be so silly to say Santa Claus there.
People will know that you never read such a Russian culture books before come there . Or you probably too lazy to ask your Russian friend about what is Russian tradition in Christmas .
You need to pay more attention when you come to Russia around December or January. Because it’s such a big and special day for Russian. Not such another country in the world which celebrates Christmas on 25th December, Russian celebrates their Christmas on 7th January.
The date of January 7th is when Christmas takes place on the Eastern Orthodox calendar , and when Russian , and Ukranian Orthodox Christian get to celebrate the holiday. In Russia, December 25th is not a holiday and individuals still have to work, of course Orthodox Christian and Catholics do not solely live in just Russia, or the Ukraine.
Those who live outside of the two countries get to celebrate Christmas on this date also. In the west(Canada/USA) most get to celebrate on December 25th , and January 7th .
The Points is it just depends where you live , who you are and what date feels more festive to you and if you love Christmas so much in Russia you can celebrate it twice with Yolka (Russian Christmas Tree) and Ded Moroz.
Ded Moroz is a Symbol of Russian Christmas
The legend have it that Ded Moroz Santa Claus was boorn in Asia Minor at the Greco-Roman city of Myra in the province of Lycia. At a time when the region was entirely Greek in origin.
Due to the suppression of religion during the Soviet regime,St Nicholas was replaced by Ded Moroz or Grand father frost or Father frost the Russian Spirit of Winter who brought gifts on New Year’s not Christmas .He is accompanied to Snyegurochka , the Snow Maiden , who helps distribute the gifts.
The Difference Between The Two Characters
- Costume and Hat
Ded Moroz comes very often with embroidery and long coat fur. His costume even more beautiful with a different color and style. Sometimes he also appearing with Russian style coats in Icy blue, silver or even gold , line or trimmed with white fur and belt.
Then He also wearing a traditional boot called tall Valenki. A felted boots popular in Russia or leather boot to protect him from cold. Ded Moroz also wears a hat which called as a boyar’s hat.
If you often see Santa’s outfit you will realize that he always wear outfit in red , boots, belt and a red socking cap with white pompom.
- Their Beard has it’s own style
Santa’s always come with short and full beard. Then Ded Moroz has his own style with very long and straight beard. Its come with his figure that so tall and straight as well. Both of this character fit with their own style.
- The Cane
The Russian Santa comes with a long and straight cane with knob or star. Then Santa Claus comes very often bring stick with curved top. Sometimes dsnat didn’t bring his cane while drive the sleigh but Ded Moroz always bring his cane while travelling and distributing the gifts.
- Different Castle
In every movies you will see that Santa build his castle in North Pole. Then Ded Moroz build his home at an estate in the Russia town of Veliky Ustyug.
it’s located in Volgodosky , in region of Nothern Russia( approximately 500 miles Northeast of Moscow)situated in taiga forest at the confluence of three rivers , sits the log cabin of Ded Moroz. Veliky Ustyug also known as the hometown of Ded Moroz.
- Time Arrival
Ded Moroz delivers gifts on New Years Eve rather than on Christmas Eve due to the shifting of this tradition to the more secular holiday during Soviet times.
Incidentally, the holiday tree is the New Year tree, rather than the Christmas tree, though it might appear early enough to mark both occasions , particularly due to Russia’s Christmas being celebrated to the Orthodox Church calendar, after the first of the year.
- Arrival Method
If you often see many movies or fairy tales told that Santa Clause use a magic key from a chimney to get in your house. You will never find Ded Moroz do the same thing. He always walks into the house through the front door.
Traditionally he shown as a tall and slender older gentleman. He might be not appear as a common Santa Clause like your imagination.
- Reindeer and Horse
Santa claus comes with sleight pulled by eight reindeers and fly in the air. But Russian Santa, Ded Moroz use a horse to pull his sleigh. Sometimes he also travel with sleigh. The sleigh that he rides called as troika , a traditional sleigh from Russia.
You might be always see that Santa claus wears glasses . But Ded moroz has a very sharp eyesight. He didn’t use any glasess. His accesories only beard, cane and his costume it self.
- The Gifts
Russian Santa, Ded Moroz always give a presents for a kid in New Years, But he didn’t give the present directly. He always hides the gifts under Yolka or under the New years Russian tree. its so different with Santa claus which always put the gifts into stockings hung on fireplace or under the christmas tree.
Ded Moroz has no family but he always accompanied with snyegurochka her granddaughter which also called as a snow maiden. Snyegurochka often called as Ded Moroz assistant as well. But Santa doesn’t have any assistant. He only has a wife , but nobody accompanied him while distributing gifts.