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On November 18th Ded Moroz will celebrate his birthday at his wooden palace in the forests at Votchina, Veliky Ustyug

The local lakes and rivers freeze around mid-November and this is when the festivals begin with Ded Moroz’s official birthday.

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.

Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, lives more than 1000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, among pine forests on a cliff above the Sukhona River.

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. The satin covered bed, with its carved headrest and fluffy slippers, is not hugely convincing, but Ded Moroz himself, nearly seven feet tall with a booming voice and bone-crushing handshake, is quite an overwhelming presence.

As usual, on this special occasion Ded Moroz welcomes his friends - holiday-season miracle-makers, wonderland creatures and helpers from Russian regions and former CIS-states.

Celebration will end with lighting up the first Christmas tree.

Vologda Oblast official website