News from Municipalities
Large-scale celebrations took place in Veliky Ustyug where Ded Moroz marked his birthday at his wooden palace in the forests at Votchina on November 18th.
About 5,000 people visited Veliky Ustyug yesterday. Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, lives more than 1000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, among pine forests on a cliff above the Sukhona River.
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.
The estate itself, known as the “Votchina,” is outside the town in a scenic pinewood. The centerpiece is the wooden Terem, the mansion where Ded Moroz is said to live.
His residence includes not only the house of Ded Moroz, but also comfortable cottages made of wood, a restaurant, a recreation centre with a sauna, a swimming pool and a billiard room. Here you can find a wide range of sports facilities such as skis, sledges, boats, fishing-rods, ets. These facilities are spread throughout the territory and include sports to suit every taste. You can ride a horse, sing and dance in a ring or take part in special competitions.
The project "Veliky Ustyug - Hometown of the Russian Ded Moroz" was initiated 20 years ago. The main objective of the project is to acquaint the younger generation with the Russian national traditions and the culture of the Russian North as well as to attract Russian and foreign tourists to Veliky Ustyug.
As usual, on this special occasion Ded Moroz welcomed his friends - holiday-season miracle-makers, wonderland creatures and helpers from Russian regions. The celebration ended with lighting up the first Christmas tree. On this day Ded Moroz announced the countdown to the New Year holidays. And he went for a pre-New Year trip around the country.