This Is What Santa Looks Like Around The World

By Mariella 1 year ago

United Kingdom

Image Source/ BBCIf you're from the UK, you may know him as Santa, Father Christmas, Santa Claus or even Nessa from Gavin and Stacy! Don't know if you ladies did but I never knew that Santa, many many many years ago wore an emerald green suit; he was associated with drinking and eating  and not delivering presents!


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Spain celebrate Christmas in a slightly different way to how we would in the UK. The three kings (traditionally called Los Reyes Magos) gift sweets and pastries to the children of Spain in yearly street parades which commence in every town in Spain. The parades are past the traditional date of 25th December and usually occur on the 6th January.


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This iconic Christmas pair have been traditional in the Netherlands since the 1850s. They are known from stories from the people of the Netherlands where Sinterklaas and his little assistant Black Pete travel to gift Dutch children. The tradition has grew to become quite controversial though, due to people painting themselves black to dress as Black Pete, people have asked for Black Pete to be removed from the annual tradition.


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Looking more like a witch, this is Italy's version of our Santa Claus. La Befana is her name and her moral is very sweet towards the children of Italy. She is known to be a sweet old witch who is willing to make up her past sins by giving children presents on the 6th January.


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The Finnish goat ( Joulupukki or commonly known as the Yule goat) is  Finlands version of Father Christmas. The story behind the goat is that a man has turned into goat on the night of Christmas Eve. The goat (with a chaperone) goes from door to door gifting well behaved children gifts.


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Countries like Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovakia have a very traditional and historic figure as their Santa. Mikulas is associated with Saint Nicolas and visits homes in the earlier days of December - usually the 5th. If they children are well behaved, they receive sweets and gifts; however, if they are naughty receive raw potatoes or a wooden spoon by Mikulas' mean assistant.


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The Russian's equivalent to Santa Claus is named Ded Moroz. He also appears in  lots of other countries around Russia. Ded Moroz translates to "Old Man Frost" in Russian; according to traditional stories, Ded Moroz is an old man with a massive beard and a huge furry cloak with a long magical staff. He usually appears on New Years Eve to gift children.

Austria, Switzerland and Germany

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She's not exactly the traditional Santa Claus but Chriskind is well known in Central Europe at Christmas time. Christkind is known to be a angel-like child with short curly blonde hair with angelic wings. She gives gifts at Christmas to the children of Central Europe. She was created by the Protestant Church during the 1500s as a association with Jesus.


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The most recent equivalent to Santa Claus in Iceland is the Yule Lads. The story behind the fictional figures is that they are the sons of trolls who live in the mountains. The job of the Yulemen are to come from the mountains to prank or scare misbehaved children with the Yule Cat (an animal that will eat children who will not get new Christmas clothes).

United States

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We then have the classic Santa Claus that is known globally but traditionally originated from the United States Of America. This version is the one who wears the royal red suit, the one with his sack full of presents and where he comes down your chimney to gift all the family. Here is the big difference with other countries, he is known to give all the family presents not just the kids. A tradition for this Santa Claus is to leave him cookies and milk out so he has energy to travel to world on Christmas Eve.


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In Brazil, Christmas time is hot, sweaty and beach vibes! This is because Brazil is located on the other side of the equator, so their Christmas is actually in the middle of their summer season! So, the Santa ( Papai Noel) that is well known in Brazil wears silk clothes instead of thick fluff. Another tradition is that the children set out their shoes before they go to bed and in the morning they are filled with little gifts!


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The Santa we know is very similar to the Santa that is known in Japan, he is called Hoteiosho. He is an old man that travels on reindeer and also has a big sack over his back. However, he doesn't have a naughty list, he has eyes on the back of his head so he can keep an eye on all naughty children.


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This version of Santa looks more like a gnome and is named Julenissen. He is based of the German St Nicholas and is an idol for the children of Norway. He is known for his kindness and is known to be left a bowl of porridge by the children for him to come and eat before he hides presents around the house in the night.


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France has the same approach to Santa as the United States Of America. He wears a very bright read and has a sack full of gifts for children that behave but he is known to be skinnier, taller and straighter hair than the USA's Santa. He also has a sidekick called Pre Fouettard that stays on top of the naughty list instead of Santa doing it himself.


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The Turkish's approach on Santa has a story behind it and how Santa ( Noel Baba ) become the idol he is! According to folk told stories, a shopkeeper wasn't able to afford to supply his daughter with money towards her marriage. Noel Baba heard about the situation and threw three bags of coins into the garden of the shopkeeper.

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