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Names for Santa Claus Around the World

Published Saturday, November 25, 2006

Santa Claus, a jolly fat old man with a white beard and a red suit, is a legendary bearer of gifts to children at Christmas eve (December 24) around the world. He is well known by many other names such as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Santa, Santy and Kris Kringle. Santa Claus being the personification of the spirit of Christmas is a well known gift-giving figure in various cultures around the world and as such, there are different names that he is also known by in different locations or countries in the world. A variety of names like those mentioned above are used in different languages to represent his name. Needless to say they all refer to the same Santa Claus that we know about today.

With the festive season of Christmas upon us once again, I was asked by a reader to give the different names Santa Claus is called around the world. The list provided below is by no means comprehensive but nevertheless you should become aware of some of the names Santa goes by. So, here is a short list of some names by which Santa Claus is called in some countries.

Name Country

Afghanistan Baba Chaghaloo*
Albania Babadimri *
Armenia Gaghant Baba *

Belgium Pere Noel
Bosnia and Herzegovina Deda Mraz*
Brazil Papai Noel*
Bulgaria Dyado Koleda*

Chile Viejo Pascuero ("Old Man Christmas")
China Dun Che Lao Ren ("Christmas Old Man")

Denmark Julemanden*

Egypt Papa Noël*

France Pere Noel*
French Canada Père Noël*
Finland Joulupukki*

Germany Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas Man" or

Hawaii Kanakaloka
Hungary Mikulas (St. Nicholas)

Iran Baba Noel*
Iraq Vader Kersfees*
Ireland Daidí na Nollaig*
Italy Babbo Natale *

Jamaica Santa Claus
Japan Hoteiosho (a god or priest who
bears gifts)


Latin America Papá Noel* (Spanish-speaking)
Lithuania Kaledu Senelis*

Malta San Niklaw

Norway Julenissen ("Christmas gnome")


Poland Swiety Mikolaj (St. Nicholas)
Portugal Pai Natal


Romania Mos Craciun*
Russia Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost")

Serbia Deda Mraz
Scottish Highlands Daidaín na Nollaig*
South Africa Vader Kersfees*
Spain Papá Noel*
Sweden Jultomten ("Christmas brownie")

Turkey Noel Baba*

United Kingdom Father Christmas






* - Father Christmas

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Related Articles:
How to say I Love You in different languages
How to say Happy New Year in different languages
How to say Merry Christmas in Different Languages

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At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
At 9:12 AM, Blogger matilde said...
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At 2:51 AM, Anonymous Web Design Company said...
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At 8:16 AM, Blogger Rex L. A. Page II said...
At 1:33 AM, Blogger rocky case said...
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Argentina we call him Papa Noel.

In America we cal him santa

So yeah, in now way does the Swedish "jultomten" mean "christmas brownie". "Jultomten" simply means like "christmas santa".

Portuguese santa's name, Pai Natal, also translates as Father Christmas, and should, therefore, be marked by an asterisk.

Also, the Santa we know today was invented by Coca Cola... So, no all the names do not refer to how we know him today - I am pretty sure he looks different according to region and culture (as in Japan where it is a priest as you so correctly point out yourself). For instance, before we got the red/white Santa, in Denmark he was dressed in green.

However, I like the list and I was wondering if you can find out what he is called in Holland/The Netherlands?

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck! Web Design Company

I saw Santa---A long time ago. I was five years old and waited late into the night to catch a glance of this great person. I heard some bells so I raced down to the Christmas tree but he was gone. My father appeared and said you should be in bed. I told him I wanted to see Santa. He took me near the window and pointed up to the big dipper and said," When you meet someone in your life that is pure, kind, generous, and has a good heart, then you've seen Santa. Puzzeled at first I went back to bed thinking of what I just heard. As I started to sleep I realized, I had just seen---Santa.


Thanx I'm righting a book about a secret society of Santa's and they have a clock that counts down to the end of days and a band of pirates steal IR and they go all ninja trying to get it back and I needed some names

Stephen Stapinski

Really your blog is very interesting.... it contains great and unique information. I enjoyed to visiting your blog. It's just amazing.... Thanks very much for the share.

in England we call him Father ChristmaS 'cause Christ was born then

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