Santa Claus is known to both children and adults especially during Christmas. For instance, grown-ups see him as a symbol of selfless giving whereas children believe he brings toys and various gifts at Christmas. It is also captivating how Santa is known by different names in many places. However, he is named differently all over the world but the nature of his purpose remains the same. The different names as below.
- Saint Nicholas- this is a popular history for the origin of Santa. As such, it is said that Saint Nicholas was a very religious Christian who gave generously to the poor. The Dutch who settled in New York a long time ago believed he gifted goodies to children hence was honored yearly with a festival. The children would leave shoes outside with hope of getting coins in them. The native people who lived nearby, therefore, brought along the custom of giving gifts into their special celebrations at Christmas time. Moreover, his present giving role makes him a friend of children all over the world. For instance, it is said he gave gold coins to people in need. Additionally, the Dutch spoke the name Saint Nicholas very fast such that it sounded like Sinterklaas also called Santa Claus. Moreover, Sinterklaas is said to have a serious character as opposed to the jolly and merry Santa. His arrival is ceremonious for instance with a steamboat or by a train. Subsequently, the German farmers in West of New York called him Pelznickel, as Pelz meant fur hence a man dressed in fur who gave gifts to good children yearly. In Japan, he is often referred to as Santa no ojisan meaning Uncle Santa
- Santa Claus- in the United States, he is a plump, pot-bellied, jolly old man with a long beard who wears a red suit with white fur and moves down chimneys to deliver gifts and good cheer to children on the Eve of Christmas. Furthermore, it is believed he makes a list of good, bad, naughty or nice children then delivers gifts, coins, and candy. This he does with the help of his flying reindeer who pull the sleigh and his elves who make and pack the toys. He has been immortalized in malls everywhere during Christmas for instance from Black Friday advertisements to appearances in movies and songs it feels like he is immortalized. Think of a happy old man with white and red clothes with a habit of filling stockings with gifts and coming through the chimneys.
- Grandfather Frost- this is used by the Russians as he is accompanied by Snowgirl who is a very merry girl who assists him provide party by distributing gifts. He wears a long trimmed fur coat that is brightly colored. Grandfather Frost, in turn, asks little children to read him a poem or sing and if good, presents are accompanied. Additionally, Father Frost is said to be a Winter Wizard.
- Father Christmas- he is synonymous with bringing peace, good food and wine, joy, revelry and good cheer. Children from Germany refer to him as Weihnachtsmann meaning Christmas Man or Kris Kringle meaning Christ Child. This is whereby gifts are brought to children when they are asleep and the bringer is never seen. Additionally, French call him Pere Noel which is closer to Spain’s Papa Noel. In Spain, the children leave their shoes under the Christmas tree the previous night to be filled with presents from the three kings that is Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar. Similarly, in Puerto Rico, children have grass under their beds which is replaced with presents. These basically refer to the nice and sweet old elf from where Father Christmas is translated. He is Father Christmas as well in England, however, the coat and beard are longer. In Italy, he is known as Babbo Natale, meaning Father Christmas such that children put a pair of shoes by the door and have them the following morning filled with gifts and candy.
- Some countries like Croatia and Bulgaria view Santa Claus as more elderly and sort of a grandfather hence have given him the name Grandfather Christmas
- Yule Buck- Finland and Scandinavian countries relate him to Yule Goat which hops from house to house providing treasured gifts and asking children if they behaved during the year. In exchange, children offer sweet porridge to give him energy for the busy night ahead as all houses have to be considered. Children from Finland actually get to see Father Christmas deliver gifts since there are reindeers there and often call him Joulupukki. Joulupukki had a pagan origin but acquired Christian flavor as time went by since these festivities were used to ward off evil spirits.
- He is called Black Peter in Morrocco, relatedly, he is called Jultomten in Sweden as he visits the day before Christmas pulling a bag of gifts from deep snow.