Russian, Finnish Santas exchange gifts at the border

Russian, Finnish Santas exchange gifts at the border

A Finnish Santa Claus and a Russian Grandfather Frost met at the Finnish-Russian border to exchange gifts on Monday.

The annual event celebrates the friendship between the two neighbours and includes traditional dancing and singing by performers of both countries.

After greeting each other at the border, the two Christmas characters headed to Lappeenranta, a small town on the Finnish side of the border, to meet local families.

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Grandfather Frost, or “Ded Moroz” in Russian, is the main fairytale character of Russia’s New Year holidays, and is often accompanied by his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden.

The Finnish Santa Claus character is traditionally called “Joulupukki”, and presents gifts to children on Christmas Day.

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According to local media, the “Santa Summit” has taken place since 2002.