Veliky Ustyug, the Russian Santa's Home

Veliky Ustyug is a town in the northeast of Vologda Oblast. In the past it was one of the major cities of Russian North. Since the 1999, Veliky Ustyug was declared as the residence of Ded Moroz, a Russian analogue of Santa Claus. The residence, which is a resort promoted as the Votchina (Estate), of Ded Moroz, is a major tourist attraction. 

Thanks to Ded Moroz, since 1999 the number of tourists visiting Veliky Ustyug rose from 2,000 to 200,000 a year and has kept on growing. In the last 7 years, the post office in Veliky Ustyug received approximately 2,000,000 letters from Russian children for Ded Moroz. Children (an adults, of course) who want to write to Ded Moroz should send their letters to: 162390, Russia. Vologda region, Veliky Ustyug, Ded Moroz Mail.

In late December Ded Moroz traditionally leaves his forest residence to open New Year's parties. Thanks to the GLONASS satellite system, anyone in any part of the globe is able to learn where he now is.

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