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Santa Around the World

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In this subject Santa is given a wide meaning encompassing the many characters who bring gifts for children during December, usually on December 6th, 24th or 25th.

41 facts:

Babbo Natale
      
Italy
Babbo Natale, or Father Christmas is gaining popularity in Italy. Italy’s version of Santa Claus, is becoming more popular and gift giving on Christmas day is becoming more common. La Befana, the old woman who delivers gifts on Epiphany, January 6 is still the more popular Christmas figure.
Christkindl
      
Germany
Christkind or Kris Kringle. There are the dozens of names used for the German Father Christmas or Santa Claus. The four main names are Weihnachtsmann, Nickel, Klaus and Niglo. Then there are many more local or regional names: Aschenmann, Bartl, Boozenickel, Hans Trapp, Klaubauf, Krampus, Pelznickel, Ruhklas, Ruprecht, and Schmutzli.
Daidi Na Nollag
      
Ireland
"Daddy of Christmas" Also known in Irish English as Santy or Santa
Ded Moroz
      
Russia
Translates to “Grandfather Frost” in English, but most English speakers simply call him “Father Frost.” Ded Moroz carries a staff and wears a long white beard. He protects his feet from the cold by tall valenki or leather boots. The three horses of the Russian troika offer enough power and speed to get Ded Moroz to where he needs to go. Ded Moroz delivers gifts on New Year's Eve. He is often accompanied by Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden.
Dun Che Lao Ren
      
China
Christmas Old Man. Children hang muslin stockings hoping that Christmas Old Man will fill them with gifts and treats.
Father Christmas
      
Australia
Also Santa Claus or just Santa
Father Christmas
      
New Zealand
Also Sata Claus or just Santa
Father Christmas
      
The U.K.
Father Christmas
      
The U.S.A.
Also Santa Claus or just Santa
Father Christmas
      
Wales
Also Santa Claus or just Santa
Gwiazdor
      
Poland
"star man", for the North Star. He visits children on Christmas Eve, bringing presents. The Christmas Eve meal begins once the first star is seen. "Swiety Mikolaj" (Saint Nicholas) was a cardinal in the Catholic Church, he visits children on December 6th
Hoteiosho
      
Japan
A Buddhist monk who acts like Santa Claus. He brings presents to each house and leaves them for the children. Some think he has eyes in the back of his head, so children try to behave like he is nearby.
Joulupukki
      
Finland
The name Joulupukki literally means Christmas goat or Yule Goat. The Finnish word "pukki" comes from the Teutonic "bock" (equivalent of the English "buck", "Puck", or "billy-goat") and is an old Scandinavian tradition. Over time, the figure has become merged with Santa Claus.
Julemanden
      
Denmark
He arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a sack full of gifts. Danish children know the elves as Juul Nisse, and believe that they live in the attics of their homes. Instead of cookies and glasses of milk, they leave rice pudding and saucers of milk out for them.
Julenissen
      
Norway
The name means "Christmas Elf", Jule or Yule being the classic name for the Christmas holiday
Jultomte
      
Sweden
Also Tomte, Nisse or Tomtenisse. Commercialism has made him look more and more like the American Santa Claus
Kanakaloka
      
Hawaii
La Befana
      
Italy
An old woman who delivers gifts on Epiphany, January 6
Mikulas
      
Hungary
St. Nicholas. Visits children on December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day, which is the name day of "Miklós." Chidren put boots in the windows
Papai Noel
      
Brazil
It is believed that he lives in Greenland. Because it is so warm in Brazil in December he usually wears light-weight, silk clothing. He brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve night. On Christmas morning the children find their shoes full of gifts, they also look for gifts that are hidden around the house.
Pere Noel
      
France
"Father Christmas" or "Old Christmas"), sometimes called Papa Noël ("Daddy Christmas"), is a legendary gift-giver during Christmas in France, identified with Father Christmas. They share the characteristics of red outfit, workshop at the north pole, and team of the reindeer. According to tradition, on Christmas Eve children leave their shoes by the fireplace filled with treats for Père Noël's donkey, Gui (French for "Mistletoe") before they go to bed. Père Noël takes the offerings and, if the child has been good, leaves presents in their place. Presents are traditionally small enough to fit in the shoes; candy, money or small toys
Saint Nicholas
      
Belgium
Sinterklaas, Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas. He is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man). Originally, the Sinterklaas feast celebrates the name day, 6 December, of Saint Nicholas (270–343), patron saint of children. Saint Nicholas brings children their presents. He rides a horse so they leave him hay and carrots and water for the horse.
Saint Nicholas
      
Germany
Saint Nicholas
      
Luxembourg
Saint Nicholas
      
Netherlands
Saint Nicholas
      
Poland
Or Swiety Mikolaj
Santa Claus
      
Australia
Also Father Christmas or just Santa
Santa Claus
      
Hawaii
Or just plain Santa. Also Kanakaloka
Santa Claus
      
Japan
Or just “Santa”. Children often call him “Santa no Ojisan”, which means “Uncle Santa”.
Santa Claus
      
New Zealand
Also Father Christmas or just Santa
Santa Claus
      
The U.K.
Also Father Christmas or just Santa
Santa Claus
      
The U.S.A.
Also Father Christmas or just Santa
Santa Claus
      
Wales
Also Father Christmas or just Santa.
Santa No Ojisan
      
Japan
Uncle Santa
Siôn Corn
      
Wales
Chimney John
Sinterklaas
      
Belgium
Sint Nikolaas
Sinterklaas
      
Luxembourg
Sint Nikolaas
Sinterklaas
      
Netherlands
Sint Nikolaas. He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December).
Swiety Mikolaj
      
Poland
Or St. Nicholas, and it is on his feast day (Dec. 6th) that children receive presents. In some regions of Poland, Gwiazdor stands in for Mikolaj on December 24th.
Viejo Pascuero
      
Chile
Old Man Christmas
Weihnachtsmann
      
Germany
There are the dozens of names used for the German Father Christmas or Santa Claus. The four main names are Kristkindl, Nickel, Klaus and Niglo. Then there are many more local or regional names: Aschenmann, Bartl, Boozenickel, Hans Trapp, Klaubauf, Krampus, Pelznickel, Ruhklas, Ruprecht, and Schmutzli.


Facts contributed by:


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