Moscow, Dec 30 (UNI) Two days before the New Year, Ded Moroz-- Russia's Santa Claus is putting holiday travellers in New Year party mood at airports here.
Music, clowns and Grandfather Frost are on hand, as airports are packed with thousands of people on their way to hundreds of destinations to celebrate the New Year.
Dancing around a Christmas tree, playing recorders, painted faces and extremely excited children. Not a typical scene for an airport.
But it is what Moscow airports look like at this time of year.
About 8,50,000 people are flying out from Moscow's Domodedovo airport, this holiday season, Russian news agencies reported.
As New Year gets closer, the Russian capital gets more and more symbols of the holiday. The main Christmas Fir Tree is set on the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin. Being the main symbol of Christmas and New Year, it will spend three weeks brightening Cathedral Square.
Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) are a core part of New Year celebrations.
The Snow Maiden remains a mysterious figure in Russian myth, transforming herself from a pagan deity to modern sex symbol.
She partners Grandfather Frost, helping him with his New Year duties. Her image is familiar to everyone across the country.
But her origins remain shrouded in mystery, even to Russians. The character of Snegurochka actually dates back to pagan Slavic religion. She symbolised the change of seasons, the transition from winter to spring.
In the 19th century, Russian historians reconstructed the myth.
Later, the writer Aleksandr Ostrovsky wrote the first literary version. In his fairy tale, Snegurochka sacrifices her immortality to experience what love is.
In the Soviet era, the pair of Snegurochka and Grandfather Frost became a necessary part of the New Year festivities.
Today, playing the role of Snegurochka at children's and corporate parties is quite a popular odd job for students in Russia.
The image is widely used both in advertising and entertainment industry, including strip clubs. But for most Russians, the image of the icy princess evokes happy memories of childhood.