- Holidays and Celebrations»
Santa Claus: Also Known As ...
Santa Claus by any other name ...
Santa is well known is everywhere, every society and every country. But, if you heard someone talking about Santa, in a different language, would you recognize the grand ole man?
For instance, in the United States everyone knows the jolly man in a bright red and white suit, black boots, as Santa Claus. And, some prefer to call him Kris Kringle or St. Nick. Children wait, excitedly, to have their turns to climb in his lap and whisper their wishes they hope to find under the Christmas tree.
Santa is known by many names throughout the world, but the idea of gift giving is virtually the same. Some of Santa's names are:
In England, he is known as Father Christmas, and looks much like the Santa Claus, as Americans know him, except that he is attired in a longer coat and has a longer beard.
In Wales, Santa is called Sion Corn, which can be translated as Chimney John, referring to the legend that Santa comes down the chimney to bring gifts to children.
In France and Canada, he's known as Pere Noel.
In Brazil, he's known as Papai Noel.
In Germany, children receive gifts from Christkind. On December 6th, Knecht Ruprecht visits to bring nuts, cookies and a small toy to the good children. But, he also brings coal or a wooden stick to children that have not been good. And, in Germany, Santa may also be called Wiehnachtsmann.
In Poland, Santa is called Gwiazdor (names for the North Star).
In Puerto Rico, on December 6th children receive gifts from Three Kings. Grass is placed under their beds as food for the camels, and in the morning they find presents have taken place of the grass.
In Costa Rica, Columbia, and some parts of Mexico, El Nino Jesus (the infant Jesus) brings gifts to children.
In Sweden, Jultomten brings presents the evening before Christmas day.
In Finland, Santa is called Joulupukki. Also, the Swedish-speaking Finns call him Julgubben.
In Spain, Santa is known as Los Reyes Magos. The night of January 5th children place their shoes under the Christmas tree and receive presents from the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar). Santa Claus is known as Papa Noel and some children receive gifts on December 25th and January 6th.
In Russia, he is called Grandfather Frost or Ded Moroz. The story goes that Babooska (the person who was searching for Christ the night he was born), spoke to the Three Wise Men while on their way to find Him. But, Babooska said she was too old to make the trip, and the Three Men went on without her. The next day, Babooska set out on her search once again, but heard that the “King” had left his birth place. Instead of continuing her search, Babooska decided to give her presents for Christ to the children in her country (Russia) every year on December 13th.
Santa is known by many names and visits the children of the world at different times throughout December. But the reason for the tradition refers to the real meaning of Christmas, and that is the birth of Christ.
It has been said that Mrs. Claus' full name is Jessica Mary Claus. Her mother chose the middle name after Mary, the Mother of Jesus.