Russian Ded Moroz, Santa Claus and Their Yakutian Counterpart Ekhee Dyyl Meet at Cold Pole

Russia's Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) whose official residence is in Veliky Ustyug (a town in Russia's northwest), Santa Claus from Lapland's village of Rovaniemi and their Yakutian counterpart Ekhee Dyyl are meeting this Saturday in the Yakutian village of Tomtor in the Oimyakon district (the Far Eastern Federal District) on the last day of the first Cold Pole-2002 festival.

A spokesperson for the department of tourism in the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) said that Tomtor had on many occasions been the site of the world's lowest temperature in populated areas. For example, in 1926, Academician Obruchev sent a radiogram to Moscow whereby he informed his colleagues in Russia's capital city that he had registered the temperature of minus 71.2 degrees Celcius in the village. Later, meteorologists frequently recorded temperatures below minus 71 there.

For that reason, local residents maintain, Chyskhaan, the keeper of cold, and Ekhee Dyyl chose to settle down in Tomtor. The festival organizers decided to invite Ded Moroz and Santa Claus to help all the universally recognized "rulers of cold" to communicate and coordinate their future action.

On Friday, they all greeted participants of the 7-car motor race who had started from Yakutsk six days earlier and driven more than 1,300 kilometers by the rough and tough Yakutian roads, visiting on the way a dozen of local villages as well as the legendary lake Labynkyr where, the natives claim, a relic monster - a giant snake or pangolin - lives.

Two of the race cars are driven by women who represent the Ladies at Wheel club from Yakutsk. The crew of another car includes Jamaican reggae singer Lenky Roy who does not sing very much this time - he is busy making a film about Yakutian frosts and his journey across the republic.

According to the program, Ded Moroz, Santa Claus and Ekhee Dyyl are going to discuss their plans for the future and present gifts and prizes to winners of the event's numerous contests and competitions, as well as to winners of the folk costume and national cuisine exhibitions held in the framework of the festival.