© culture.ru/ unknown author
© culture.ru/ unknown author

Father Frost Festival in Yalutorovsk

4 minutes to read

There are many holidays in Russia, but one of the most beloved is the New Year celebration. It usually lasts more than a week. In Siberia, people go to visit each other, ride from the ice slides, give gifts. Despite the Siberian frost, the soul becomes warm at this time. Before the end of December, Christmas trees are being established on the squares of cities and villages, and entire snowy towns are being built. Many celebrations are held on New Year's Eve. One of them is the Father Frost's Festival in Yalutorovsk - a small town, 100 kilometers from Tyumen.

Who is Father Frost

© magput.ru/ unknown author
© magput.ru/ unknown author

Father Frost is a Slavic symbol of the New Year holidays in Russia, something like Santa Claus. He does not ride reindeer like Santa, but a sleigh drawn by three horses. He has a granddaughter Snow Maiden. He gives gifts and fulfills the desires of those who behaved well during the whole year.

© cultinfo.ru/ unknown author
© cultinfo.ru/ unknown author

Father Frost in Russia is the top manager of all New Year's holidays. At the mention of his name, children become obedient and dreamy - they are waiting for gifts. Already in November, they write letters to Father Frost in which they report on their behavior throughout the year and politely ask if they deserve the gift they imagined

Adults also want fairy tales and gifts. Right, they do not write letters to Father Frost, and no one demands an adult report for his behavior in the past year. If you ask the Russians in June whether they believe in Father Frost, they will think for a while, but very few will say that Father Frost does not exist in December. Everyone is waiting for a miracle.

© cultinfo.ru/ unknown author
© cultinfo.ru/ unknown author

Father Frost lights city fir-trees, he is an indispensable attribute of corporate parties and comes to visit with gifts almost every home. Children sing New Year’s songs abouFather Frost, recite poems, and dance around a decorated fir-tree. It is clear that one Father Frost can not cope with such a job. 

© newrussianmarkets.com/ unknown author
© newrussianmarkets.com/ unknown author

He has assistants - Snow Maiden, New Year's Boy, bunnies, squirrels, birds. Still, there needs to be a lot of Fathers Frosts, so that there is enough New Year's magic for everyone. There might be many of them, but the main one lives in Veliky Ustyug. In Siberia, there are several residences of different Fathers Frosts. One of them is located in Yalutorovsky Ostrog, a historic wooden fortress.

Yalutorovsky Ostrog, Yalutorovsk
Yalutorovsky Ostrog, Yalutorovsk

Residence of Father Frost in Yalutorovsk

© ostrog-yal.ru/ unknown author
© ostrog-yal.ru/ unknown author

On the penultimate sunday of December, the main boss arrives in Yalutorovsk - Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug. He solemnly opens the New Year's Residence in the fortress. All this takes place in the form of interactive theatrical performance, in which various fairy-tale characters participate. The Father Frost Festival is timed to coincide with this event. 

Everyone has a chance to take a picture with the main Father Frost of Russia. During the New Year holidays, guests of the residence are greeted by heroes of Russian fairy tales. They conduct excursions, quizzes, games, ask riddles, talk about the traditions of the New Year. The program also includes slide riding and hot tea from a samovar.

© culture.ru/ unknown author
© culture.ru/ unknown author

Tourists are offered a photoshoot in national costumes and a visit to the dungeon with the expositions “Armory”, “Torture Room” and others. At the peasant farm, you will have the opportunity to chop wood, draw water from the well, and also look into the forge and the barn

In craft workshops, you can get acquainted with the traditions of the city’s folk crafts, take part in the manufacture of folk dolls, do wood painting, clay modeling and weaving. And also to your attention in the exhibition hall are presented the creative works of masters of decorative and applied art. In the souvenir shop, you can buy products of masters. The action lasts five hours.

The Parade of Father Frost

© culture.ru/ unknown author
© culture.ru/ unknown author

The parade is one of the most spectacular events of the festival. Several hundred Fathers Frost pass through the central streets of the city. The main persons of the New Year holidays are accompanied by Snow Maidens and characters of Russian folk tales. The orchestra warms up the atmosphere with New Year's tunes. The procession goes to the Snow Town on Sretenskaya Square, where, to everyone's joy, the parade participants light a fir-tree.

© culture.ru/ unknown author
© culture.ru/ unknown author

I will tell you a little secret - both citizens and guests of the city take part in the parade. You just need to be creative in choosing a costume. If you have free time at the end of December, you are not afraid of the Siberian cold and can come up with an interesting costume, then you can fully enjoy the festival in Yalutorovsk. Perhaps your own Father Frost costume will become the most impressive one.

© tmn.aif.ru/ Svetlana Nechaeva
© tmn.aif.ru/ Svetlana Nechaeva
Festival of the Fathers Frost, Yalutorovsk
Festival of the Fathers Frost, Yalutorovsk

The author

Natalya Lisovskaya

Natalya Lisovskaya

Hi, I'm Natalya, a journalist from the ancient Siberian city of Tyumen, in the Ural Federal District. I love my Siberian land, its rich history and the harsh and majestic beauty of its nature. I hope you will fall in love with it too, after reading my stories.

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