Dec 24, 2016

What's in a Name, Santa Claus

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 24.
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 Sinterklaas' horse. 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 term 'the Christ Child'.