In the United States and Canada, his name is Santa Claus.
In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.
In England, his name is Father Christmas.
In France, he is known as Pere Noel.
In Germany, children get presents from
Christindl, the Christ Child.
Customs of the Christmas Season in Spanish
speaking countries have many similarities and many variations.
All of Latin America and Spain are predominantly Catholic. For
many of these countries Baby Jesus, el Niño Jesus, brings
gifts for children. In Colombia, and parts of Mexico, the gift
bearer is el Niño Jesus, “the infant Jesus.” In Brazil and
Peru, he is
called Papai Noel.
In Puerto Rico, children receive gifts from
the Three Kings on January 6, also called the celebration of
Epiphany, or Three
Kings' Day. Each child puts grass under their bed for the
camels. In the morning the grass is replaced with gifts. Also,
Puerto Rico has
its major gift giving on December 25, with the Christmas Tree
and Santa Claus. Epiphany remains a part of the holiday season
and is a day off from school.
In Italy Babbo Natale, which means Father
Christmas, is Santa. Children put a pair of their shoes by the
door on the day before Epiphany and the following morning they
find them filled with small gifts and candy. Italy, Spain,
Portugal are also mostly Catholic. December 25 is a day of
more religious observance, remembering the birth of Christ.
The Epiphany, called Little Christmas, is the day for gift
giving. However, Babbo Natale does come on Christmas Eve in
some parts of Italy.
In Spain children leave their shoes under
the Christmas tree the night of January 5th and presents from
the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) appear the next morning.
Santa Claus is called Papa Noel and some children receive
presents both days on December 24th from Papa Noel and on
January 6th from the Three Kings.
In Morocco he is known as Black Peter.
In Japan, Santa Claus is called Santa Claus
or just “Santa”. Children often call him “Santa no ojisan”,
which means “Uncle Santa”.
In Sweden Jultomten visits the evening
before Christmas day, pulling a big bag of julklappar
(Christmas presents) in the deep snow.
Pã Norsk (in Norwegian) Julenissen arrives
on the evening of December
In the Netherlands, he is called Kerstman.
In Finland, he is called Joulupukki.
Sinter Klaas in Dutch, is much thinner than the
American Santa Claus. He rides a white horse and gets help
from numerous Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes) handing out gifts
and candy. He arrives the first Saturday in November by boat. In the
evenings, Dutch Children sing songs in front of the fire place
and leave their shoe with a present, such as a drawing for
Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet or a Carrot for Amerigo
In the mornings they find their shoe filled with candy and
small presents. On the fifth of December Dutch households have a
“Pakjesavond” (Presents night) and exchange presents.
In Russia, he is called Grandfather Frost.
He is also called Kris Kringle - which comes from the German