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4 Dec, 2020 15:31

‘Santa Claus with antibodies’: Actors who previously caught Covid-19 providing a very 2020 service for Russian kids

‘Santa Claus with antibodies’: Actors who previously caught Covid-19 providing a very 2020 service for Russian kids

Want to invite Santa to your home, but scared you might catch coronavirus? In Russia, that’s not a problem. Actors are now offering a Covid-19 safe visit, dressed as Slavic Santa, known as Ded Moroz, and his assistant.

As advertised on the popular site avito.ru, two professional children’s entertainers from St. Petersburg will provide a 30-minute in-call, dressed as Ded Moroz and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), for just 4,000 rubles ($53). The program includes songs, magic tricks, and games, and concludes, of course, with presents.

The actor playing Santa Claus, Alexey Panasyuk, is a performer at the Zazerkalie Children’s Musical Theater.

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Since the St. Petersburg service was first advertised in mid-November, copycat services have popped up all around the country. In Moscow, an entertainer called Ruslan told the Telegram channel Podyom that catching Covid-19 had turned out to be a “great marketing ploy.”

“The price is no longer important. People are ready to pay a premium for safety,” he explained. “My phone’s blowing up, so I’ll be raising the price.”

A quick search of Avito also finds similar services in other Russian cities, such as Vologda, Bryansk, and Belgorod.

Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, is a very popular figure in Russia, and, in 2008, he even received a visit from President Vladimir Putin. Actors playing the traditional Slavic character and his helper Snegurochka are a regular fixture at children’s parties over the winter holiday season. After the 1917 revolution, Ded Moroz was banned, but returned just 20 years later as a part of the New Year celebrations.

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