Santa Around The World


Santa Claus is known by many different names around the world, no matter which one he’s known worldwide for delivering toys and treats for good boys and girls.

Every country and culture have their own unique name for Santa. Keep reading to discover different traditions of Santa from around the world.

Other Names Santa is known as:

St Nicholas

The Saint Nicholas story is believed to be the most common history for the origin of Santa Claus, many countries still refer to Santa as St Nicholas. Particularly western countries with strong catholic and Christian faiths. St Nicholas day is celebrated on the 6th December, traditions around this important date mean gift giving and feasting on delicious food. Many religious families will attend mass or a worship service on this holy holiday.


Sinterklaas is an adaptation from Saint Nicholas used mainly in the Netherlands. It’s also used in other countries in Europe such as Luxembourg, Belgium and parts of France. Sinterklaas has his mischievous helpers known as Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), in tradition he rides a horse and is dressed as a bishop. He is said to have a serious disposition opposed to the joyful jolly Santa we’re more familiar with.


In many Christian worshiping countries in Latin America and Europe, Christkindl is celebrated as the bringer of gifts. Christkindl, the ‘Christ child’ became a popular figure during protestant reformation when catholic celebrations were banned. Due to this the celebration date was changed from December 6th to the 24th. Christkindl, often depicted as a child or angel, brings gifts to children whilst they sleep and is never seen… Sounds very familiar!

Father Christmas

Christmas tradition records run back as far as the 15th century in Britain. A figure sometimes named as sir Christmas or captain Christmas celebrating and encouraging merry making. Once he started to be portrayed as an older gentleman, with a holly wreath around his head he took the name of ‘old Christmas’. In the 1800s he appeared in many Christmas style plays, although he didn’t have a role of gift giving to children. Finally in the Victorian era, Christmas traditions saw a boom in popularity, so Father Christmas evolved into a gift giver. A story about st Nicholas was published in 1853, it was solidified that father Christmas was the very same Santa clause which had emerged in the USA during the same few decades.

Ded Moroz

From Slavic countries a similar story emerged even before Christian traditions. This became even more popular in the mid 19th century and during soviet times as an alternative to the western Santa Claus. 

Ded moroz is also known as father frost and is said to be a winter wizard. He is seen as a similar figure to jack frost or old man winter, however he still has the similarities to Santa as he brings treats and toys to children on new years day, this again is to avoid religious aspects of western traditions.

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