More than 100 Russians dressed as Ded Moroz (or Father Frost) and Snegurochka (or Snow Maiden) have paraded through New York City’s Manhattan borough, Igor Kochan, the head of the Russian Youth of America organization that arranged the event, told TASS.
The parade kicked off from the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral on 97th street. Parade participants took a short subway ride, made a stop at Bryant Park and eventually arrived in Times Square.
All along the way, the event’s members wished happy holidays to passersby, gave them Russian souvenirs and explained why Russia’s Ded Moroz is different from Santa Claus. "When Americans see our Ded Moroz, most of them mistake him for Santa, only a more handsome and glamorous one," Kochan pointed out. "We explain that his costume and appearance are different, as well as the legend behind him. People willingly take photos with us and even learn Russian phrases," he added.
Russian culture in New York City
"On the whole, we believe that our parade is not only a holiday season event, but also a social and cultural one," Kochan went on to say. "We seek to promote Russian culture and introduce New Yorkers to our traditions and songs, so the parade’s participants sing and dance, stirring great interest," he said.
According to Kochan, the New York Police Department approved the parade.