Russians Order ‘Santas With Antibodies’ for New Year Celebrations

Russian Santa Claus is coming to town — but only if he has antibodies.

Every year, parents across Russia order actors dressed as Ded Moroz, the Slavic counterpart of Santa Claus, and Snegurochka the snow maiden to come to their home to help spread the New Year’s cheer.

This year, actors with Covid-19 antibodies are in demand in the weeks leading up to the New Year as families seek a safe way to celebrate the most festive holiday of the year amid the pandemic.

Advertisements for “Ded Moroz with antibodies” have appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and other cities across Russia.

One offer on Avito, Russia’s online classified ads board, says Moscow residents can order “a sober Ded Moroz and Snegurochka with antibodies” to visit their home and entertain the children with New Year’s songs and gifts. A 15-minute visit from this Ded Moroz costs 1,500 rubles ($20) while a 30-minute visit costs 2,500 rubles ($33). The price is higher if it includes Snegurochka.

Ded Moroz actors with antibodies can charge a higher fee for “safety,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported, citing the Podyom Telegram channel.

Russians in Arctic Murmansk Welcome First Sunrise of 2021

The first sunrise of the year dawned upon residents of Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic as the 40-day-long polar night finally came to an end — if only for a brief 45 minutes.

On Jan. 11, residents of Murmansk, the world’s largest city above the Arctic Circle, rushed outside to greet the sunrise in what has become an annual tradition.

An early sunset at 1:50 p.m. over an icy dessert.

The sunrise looks even more stunning against the frozen northern landscape.

“Only a person living in the far north can appreciate and admire the first rays of the sun. The polar night ended in Murmansk today!”

The Murmansk region is famous for its natural scenery: tundra, mountains and snowy taiga.

The rose-colored sky over the Murmansk region’s steppe greets the end of the polar night.

Greeting the end of the polar night with traditional wooden sculptures at a farmstead not far from the city.

After 40 pitch-dark days, Murmansk residents get to start the first work week of the year under the sun.

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