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Russian 'Father Frost' to take part in Olympic torch relay

Moscow, March 28 (IANS)

Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), the Russian Santa Claus, meets children to mark the upcoming New Year’s holiday, at Ded Moroz’ residence in Kuzminsky Park in the south-east of Moscow, on December 11, 2012. New Year’s is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / GETTY IMAGES

Mythical Russian ice demigod Ded Moroz – translated into English as Father Frost – will play a leading role in the torch relay in the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Olympic Organising Committee announced.

In 2009, the committee granted Father Frost official mascot status. The myth of Father Frost has its origins in the town of Velikiy Ustyug in the Vologda region, and was tagged as an ideal symbol of Russia’s wintry origins and contemporary identity, reports Xinhua.

Father Frost is also expected to feature prominently in the Northwest exhibition of the regional expo to be held at the Olympic Park in Sochi. The goal of the expo is to use the Winter Olympics to promote tourism in Russia’s vast underexplored regions.

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