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Russians Order 'Santas With Antibodies' for New Year Celebrations

This year, actors with Covid-19 antibodies are in demand in the weeks leading up to the New Year as families seek a safe way to celebrate the most festive holiday of the year amid the pandemic. Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Russian Santa Claus is coming to town — but only if he has antibodies.

Every year, parents across Russia order actors dressed as Ded Moroz, the Slavic counterpart of Santa Claus, and Snegurochka the snow maiden to come to their home to help spread the New Year’s cheer. 

This year, actors with Covid-19 antibodies are in demand in the weeks leading up to the New Year as families seek a safe way to celebrate the most festive holiday of the year amid the pandemic.

Advertisements for “Ded Moroz with antibodies” have appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and other cities across Russia. 

One offer on Avito, Russia’s online classified ads board, says Moscow residents can order “a sober Ded Moroz and Snegurochka with antibodies” to visit their home and entertain the children with New Year’s songs and gifts. A 15-minute visit from this Ded Moroz costs 1,500 rubles ($20) while a 30-minute visit costs 2,500 rubles ($33). The price is higher if it includes Snegurochka.

Ded Moroz actors with antibodies can charge a higher fee for “safety,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported, citing the Podyom Telegram channel.

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