Different Names for Santa Claus

There are many different names for Santa Claus. In America, we know him as Santa and Saint Nick as well as Santa Claus. International Santa Claus names are different, and some religions even have their own names for him. 

Will the Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up
Several names for Santa Claus are common in the United States because there are many people here from different countries. You may learn these names in school or from friends who live in different parts of the world. Some of the traditions that surround Santa vary in other parts of the world as well. For example, in France, Pere Noel (Father Christmas) has a sort of evil twin named Pere Fouettard (Father Whipper), who brings thin wooden sticks called switches to naughty children as a punishment.

Here are some of the common names for Santa Claus from around the world:

  • United States and Canada: Santa Claus
  • Brazil: Papai Noel
  • China: Shengdan Laoren
  • Chile: Viejo Pascuero
  • England: Father Christmas
  • Europe: Saint Nicholas
  • France: Pere Noel
  • Germany: Saint Nikolaus
  • Italy: Babbo Natale
  • Netherlands: Sinterklass
  • Russia: Ded Moroz

How Did Santa Get His Name?
It is believed that the name Santa Claus derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklass, a character celebrated in The Netherlands and Beligium on December 5, the day of the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, and his feast day is a popular gift-giving occasion for the Belgians and Dutch.

Another common name heard in the United States is Kris Kringle. Kris Kringle derives from the Austrian and Bavarian Christmas gift-bringer Christkindl, which means Christ child.

No matter what name Santa Claus goes by, he is known for bringing gifts to good children all over the world on Christmas Eve. If a child has been bad, Santa Claus leaves a lump of coal in the child's stocking, similar to France's Pere Fouettard.

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