A female resident of Russia's Novgorod region has been playing the part of Father Frost's (the Russian Santa Claus) for 45 years already. Sixty-five-year-old Vera Baranova will put on Father Frost's costume on December 31st for the 45th time in her life.
The elderly woman says that she started her Father Frost "career" when she turned 20. In 1960, Vera was working in one of the kindergartens of Veliki Novgorod. There was no man in the kindergarten, who could play the role of Father Frost for little children's New Year party. The personnel decided not to deprive the kids of the festive happiness: they cast lots, and 20-year-old girl Vera Baranova had to play the male part, RIA Novosti reports.
Children liked the unusual Father Frost a lot, which became the reason why the woman started wearing white beard and hair on every New Year's Eve to entertain the children of the kindergarten.
Vera Baranova did not give up her special winter occupation even when men appeared in the personnel of the kindergarten. She quickly declined the offer to play Father Frost's assistant, Snow Girl (known in Russia as Snegurochka): "I grew so accustomed to the role that I could not imagine myself without the beard, the red coat, and the sack of gifts for little children. I will continue playing Father Frost as long as I can stand on my feet," the woman said.