Artemy Lebedev

§ 173. Ded Moroz vs. Santa Claus

December 26, 2011

It would be silly to use Santa Claus in Russia to set the Holiday mood, since there is a legitimate local version—Ded Moroz.

Even though, technically speaking it is the same character, a full century drew Santa Claus and Ded Moroz apart, providing plenty of differences. Here are the main dissimilarities between these two icons.

Santa’s coat is exclusively red, while Ded Moroz can wear red, blue, green and was spotted in grey and even white before. But the blue coat fits Ded Moroz the best.


Despite the popular myth, the classic Santa’s look in his fire-engine red is not a Coca-Cola creation. However, Coke’s advertising did contribute to the standardization of the character, bringing uniformity to his previously unregulated body type, height, and accessories. Santa’s color of choice was red even before the campaign.

It’s very easy to tell Coca-Cola’s Santa: all his hair is white except for the eye brows, which are black.

Ded Moroz rides his sleigh pulled by three horses as opposed to nine reindeer. Sometimes Ded Moroz can drive a truck.

Ded Moroz always walks or rides on snow-covered ground with his route starting somewhere in the woods. Santa always flies high in the sky.

Ded Moroz has a granddaughter, Snegurochka, but Santa has no family. It was due to Snegurochka’s appearance as Ded Moroz companion that resulted in the latter’s change of coat color to red from blue, to provide a good contrast for the girl’s blue outfit.

Ded Moroz wears a floor-length coat with a sash and a short hat, while Santa is dressed in a short jacket with heavy buckled belt and a tall hat.

Ded Moroz is a good friend of animals.

Ded Moroz places presents under a Christmas tree and is not known to have a habit of stuffing people’s socks. For Russian campaigns Santa Claus should not be used, unless the customer’s guidelines specifically request him.

What these two old men have in common, is their love of children and gift giving. Unfortunately, in the XXI century a picture of an adult with a child can get a double-look and one taking pictures at a kids play ground has a good chance of beatings. So, it only leaves us with one useful similarity—the gifts. Happy New Year!

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