The Tradition of Santa Claus Around the World
Santa Claus is the jolly, old bearded fellow dressed in red that lives at the North Pole and travels the world over on Christmas Eve with his reindeer pulling his sleigh bringing gifts down chimneys to good boys and girls everywhere.
Santa Claus is believed to have a naughty and nice list that tells him which children have been good — a prerequisite to getting Christmas gifts from Santa Claus. While many people practice the tradition, many don’t know the legend behind the world-renowned Santa Claus.
Santa Claus Around the World
The legendary Santa Claus is known by various names throughout the world. Santa Claus, Santa Clause, or simply Santa is a common name used for Santa Claus in many parts of the world.
Santa Claus is also known as Kriss Kringle which originates from “Christkindle” a German word meaning “Christ’s Child”. In the United Kingdom Santa Claus is called Father Christmas. The Dutch call Santa Claus Sinterklaas and in Germany he is known as Sankt Nikolaus.
Kanakaloka is the name of Santa Claus in Hawaii, and in France the gift giver is called Pere Noel. In South America Santa Claus is often called Papai Noel. In Denmark the Julemanden, the “Christmas Man”, is the name of Santa Claus, and in Russia he is known as Ded Moroz which means “Christmas Frost”. In Sweden, Santa Claus is known as the Christmas gnome or the Christmas brownie named Jultomten.
As you can see, Santa Claus is recognized in the traditions of many cultures. The legend of Santa Claus is believed to have been derived from the original, legendary Saint Nicholas. The legend of St. Nicholas holds that he was the bishop of Myra which is in modern-day Turkey. St. Nicholas is known as a Christian saint and for miracles and generous gift-giving.
Much of today’s image of Santa Claus is attributed to the depiction of Saint Nicholas in Charles C. Moore’s poem titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which was written in the 1800s and is well known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
The legend of Santa Claus has been passed on from generation to generation and has received many cultural influences over time. One thing is absolutely for certain. A lot of joy and Christmas cheer is shared all over the world due to the legendary tradition of Santa Claus.