Santa Claus is the man of the holiday season. The rotund and jocular gift-giving icon is beloved throughout the world. There are as many ways to say Santa Claus as there are countries that celebrate Christmas, perhaps more. Teaching your children how to say Santa in these different languages is a fun holiday activity. You can spend time talking about Santa and they’ll think this extra bit of trivia is neat.
For those of you who don’t have children, you can still have fun showing off your skills with your friends, co-workers and anyone else who will listen (smiles).
- Brazil – Papai Natal*
- Chile – Viejo Pascuero (Old Man Christmas)
- China – Dun Che Lao Ren (Christmas Old Man)
- Denmark – Julemanden*
- Finland – Joulupukki*
- Germany – Weinachtsmann (Christmas Man)
- Hungary – Mikulas (St. Nicholas)
- Italy – Babbo Natale*
- Japan – Hoteiosho (A god or priest bearing gifts)
- Norway – Julenissen (Christmas gnome)
- Portugal – Pai Natal*
- Spain – Papa Noel*
- Romania – Mos Craciun*
- Russia – Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost)
- Turkey – Noel Baba*
Notes to remember:
- The asterisk after the name refer to the fact that these lands translate their name for Santa Claus as “Father Christmas”, which also happens to be the name used for the big guy in the sleigh in the UK (United Kingdom). It is the most common term used for Santa Claus worldwide.
- Try having your children write a note to Santa calling him by the name of your family’s ancestral home(s) or let them draw pictures and title them with different names for Kris Kringle. You can even post them around your home as decorations.
- Happy Holidays!