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Happy New Year and Russian Tradition of Gift Giving
Written by Yuliya Cohen   
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

First a Russian Joke: - a Santa Claus and a Grandfather Frost (Ded MOROZ) a Russian counterpart Of Santa, bump into each other on streets of a city, “How is it going” asks Ded Moroz. “Not so good”, responds Santa, “having a hard time finding chimneys to get in”. “Yes, Russian generally do not build chimneys” nods Ded Moroz with sympathy. “How do you get in?” asks Santa, perplexed. “Oh, through the window” explains Ded Moroz. "Why not through the door then?” shrugs Santa. “Then it would not be a surprise!” Exclaims Russian Santa.

It is true that most of the houses in Russia, including those in villages do no have conventional fireplaces. Oh, and there are not reindeers, of course. Ded Moroz gets around in a carriage driven by three horses that offer enough power and speed to get him to where he needs to go—the Russian Santa has no need for eight reindeers  As a reflection of the pagan origins of this holiday, Grandpa Clause’s carriage is sometimes depicted pulled by wild animals.

And one more thing - the meeting in the funny story could only have happened in a place like Ukraine, where Catholics may celebrate Christmas in December. Christmas in Russia is most widely celebrated on January 7, according to the Russian Orthodox calendar. The Secular Russian New Year trumps Christmas in importance with the New Year tree and gift giving on January 1, when children unwrap their presents brought in through a window by Russian Santa - Ded Moroz

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