VELIKY USTYUG, Vologda region, November 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, the Slavic version of Santa Claus, who marked his birthday on Sunday, has lit Christmas lights on Russia’s first Christmas tree, thus kicking off New Year preparations.
Ded Moroz’s birthday celebrations drew thousands of guests – local residents, tourists from Russia and his “colleagues” from foreign countries – to his residence in Veliky Ustyug.
“I will travel across the globe. I plan to visit 20 cities but it is not ruled out that the list might be extended,” Ded Moroz told Itar-Tass. “I will visit my friends in St. Petersburg and Moscow on November 22 and 24, and then I will go to Finland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.”
Ded Moroz’s fleet includes numerous vehicles, such as a fairy-tale troika (carriage-and-three), a wolf who can fly, a magic carpet, and seven-league boots.
A Forum of Good Deeds was timed to coincide with Ded Moroz’s birthday celebrations. Fairy-tale characters gathered in Veliky Ustyug to discuss issues of the good and fairness, and to award the winners of the Internet project Tell about Kind People. Participants in the forum issued a message to the Russian president asking to appoint the All-Russia Day of Good Deeds on November 18.