Ded Moroz is a fictional character who in some Slavic cultures plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus. The literal translation of the name would be "Old man Frost", although the name is often translated as "Grandfather Frost" in light of the modern usage of the word ded to refer to a grandfather. Ded Moroz is said to bring presents to children; however, unlike the secretive Santa Claus, the gifts are often delivered "in person", at New Year's Eve parties and other New Year celebrations.
The "in-person" gifts usually occur at organized celebrations at kindergartens or schools and at circus performances around New Year time where the gifts can be standardized. Various agencies provide Ded Moroz visits to families and offices. In such cases specific gifts can be chosen for particular members at the parties. The clandestine placing of gifts under a New Year tree occurs when a Ded Moroz visit is not arranged for some reason.
Depictions of Ded Moroz commonly show him accompanied by Snegurochka "Snow Maiden", his granddaughter and helper, who is often depicted in long silver-blue robes and a furry cap or a snowflake-like crown. She is a unique attribute of Ded Moroz; no traditional gift-givers from other cultures are portrayed with a female companion, though the German analog Sankt Nikolaus comes with a Krampus and the Dutch analog, Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas, who wears a bishop's mitre and vestments) has Zwarte Piet ("Black Pete") a young Moorish attendant/companion.
The traditional appearance of Ded Moroz resembles that of Santa Claus, with his coat, boots and long white beard. Specifically, Ded Moroz is often shown wearing a heel-length fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and valenki or jackboots on his feet. Unlike Santa Claus, he is often depicted as walking with a long magical staff.
The official residence of Ded Moroz in Russia is considered to be the town of Veliky Ustyug, Vologda Oblast.