Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Advent Photos 2021. December 7th and 70 Names for Santa

Following on from how St Nicholas became Santa Claus after being mispronounced by Dutch settlers in the USA. It's thought that how Santa is pictured now also comes from the US, firstly because of  the Clement C Moore poem - The Visit of Saint Nicholas -with it's description of St Nick in 1822, then  a man called Thomas Nast illustrated the poem  for Harpers Magazine in the 1860s and drew him with white beard, fur trimmed robe and toys but other artists of the time drew him in a variety of costumes - even into the early twentieth century.

This is a detail from a Christmas card dating from about 1910

 It's said that the Coca Cola adverts from 1931 by Haddon Sundblom really fixed Santa to the way we know him today

Vintage Coca Cola Santa from 1931

You know I like lists, well what about this for a list............. 70 names for Santa!

  • Albania Babadimri
  • Argentina Papa Noel
  • Armenia Gaghant Baba
  • Australia Santa Claus
  • Austria ChristKind
  • Bahamas Santa Claus
  • Belgium Pére Noël / Pere Noel or Sankt Nicolaus
  • Bermuda Santa Claus 
  • Brazil Papai Noel
  • Bulgaria Dyado Koleda 
  • Canada (Pére Noël / Pere Noel, Father Christmas, Santa Claus)
  • Chile Viejo Pascuero 
  • China Dun Che Lao Ren 
  • Czech Svaty Mikolas
  • Denmark Julemanden
  • Dutch Sinter Klaas
  • Egypt Papa Noel
  • England Father Christmas 
  • Ethiopia Yágena Abãt’ (Christmas Father) 
  • France Pére Noël / Pere Noel
  • Finland Joulupukki (Christmas Goat)
  • Germany Weihnachtsmann, St. Nikolaus or Kris Kringle (Christ Child) 
  • Georgia – Tovlis Papa [This is the country, not the state!]
  •  Greece Agios Vassilios 
  • Greenland Juulimaaq 
  • Haiti Tonton Nwèl 
  • Hawaii Kanokaloka 
  • Holland De Kerstmann or Sankt Nicolaus
  • Hong Kong Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Sing Daan Lou Yan (Christmas Old Man)
  • Hungary Mikulas
  • Iceland Yule Lads. The Yule Lads, Yuletide-lads, or Yulemen (Icelandic: jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar)
  • India Santa Claus, Baba
  • Indonesia Sinterklass’
  • Iran Baba Noel
  • Iraq Vader kerfees
  • Ireland Santa, Santee or Daidi Na Nollaig
  • Italy Befana or Babbo Natale
  • Jamaica Santa Claus
  • Japan Santa Kurohsu, Odzi San or Hoteiosho (a god or priest who bears gifts)
  • Kenya Father Christmas/Santa Claus
  • Latvi Ziemassvētku vecītis (Christmas Old Man)
  • Lichtenstein ChristKind 
  • Lithuania Kaledo Senelis
  • Madagascar Dadabe Noely
  • Mexico Los duendes ayudan a Papá Noel (Elves Help Santa Claus) 
  • Morocco Black Peter 
  • Netherlands Kerstman or Sinterklaas
  • New Zealand Santa Claus
  • Norway Julenissens (Christmas Gnome)
  • Pakistan Christmas Baba 
  • Peru Papa Noel
  • Philippines Santa Klaus
  • Poland Swiety Mikolaj
  • Portugal Pai Natal
  • Romania Mos Craciun
  • Russia Baboushka Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost)
  • Scandinavia Julenisse
  • Serbia Serbia Grandfather Frost (Дедa Мрaз / Deda Mraz) or Christmas Brother (Божић Бата / Božić Bata)
  • Singapore Sing Daan Lou Yan (Christmas Old Man)
  • South Africa Vader Kersfees
  • South Korea santa kullosu or Santa GrandFather
  • Spain Papa Noel/El Nino Jesus
  • Sri Lanka Naththal Seeya
  • Sweden Jultomten (Christmans Brownie)
  • Switzerland Samichlaus or St. Nicholas
  • Taiwan Sing Daan Lou Yan (Christmas Old Man)
  • Trinidad & Tobago Santa Claus
  • Turkey Noel Baba
  • United Kingdom Santa Claus, Father Christmas,
  • United States Santa Claus
  • Vietnam Ông già Noel (Christmas Old Man)

 Apologies if this is wrong for your country - I copied it from a website called Courageous Christian Father written by a bloke called Steve Patterson.....so blame him! 

Back Tomorrow


  1. My goodness - seventy different names. Amazing!

    1. I was surprised that some countries even had a name for him

  2. hi, thanks for all those names in all those languages . Just for info: in Belgium St.Niklaas(flemish)/ St.Nicolas(french) is for the child feast on 6th of Secember. The SantaClaus/fatherChristmas from 25th of December is Père Noël in French and Kerstman in Flemish.
    always a joy to read you ;-) Keep safe

    1. Much more complicated for countries celebrating twice in two languages!

  3. I like GrandfatherFrost and Christmas Gnome the names.
    I got the tree up and enjoy put the decoration lovely memories quite a lot from my childhood also the little bits from my children and GC, I also have quite a few are pre war decorations my husband worked at Mcfarlang Lang the biscuit people and he got them from there when they were clearing out.
    I was pleased to put the tree and bits out.
    Thank you Sue.
    Hazel 🌈🌈☃️☃️

    1. My Mum had lots of old decorations from the 50's when I was small but when they moved from their old house her rheumatoid arthritis was so bad that she didn't get to sort things out and I reckon lots were chucked.
      My son had lots of our own old bits when he moved into their first home - Now most of my tree decorations are from charity shops and car boot sales.

  4. in the Netherlands its the Kerstman.....Sinterklaas is on 5 of dec and for children

  5. How fascinating, especially the Spotty Santa illustration! I know someone who collects the Santa Claus in green robes.

    Egypt, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, France, Quebec and Peru all have slight variations on Pere Noel. Only Morocco really floats its own boat with Black Peter!!

    1. We think of Father Christmas being in red forever - but if Coca Cola had chosen a different colour..........

  6. In Welsh we always called him "Sion Corn". Helen S.

    1. I expect the man in the USA that compiled the list on his blog didn't even know there was a Welsh language!

  7. So interesting all the names for the same jolly elf.

    1. and in the most surprising countries too

    2. The difference between the Netherlands and Holland is actually two provinces, namely north Holland and south Holland, but is often used for the whole of the Netherlands.And yes it is true that the Dutch language is full of German

  8. I had to laugh at Holland and the Netherlands being in the list! I wonder where this Holland is? It seems they speak a strange kind of German there ...:)

    1. I was puzzled over England and UK too! I knew we were out of Europe but didn't know we were separate from UK too.

    2. And he has Dutch as well.
      There is also controversy whether Moore or Henry Livingstone wrote the famous poem; it was published anonymously for over 20 years. ~skye

    3. "The Dutch language is full of German"...hmmm. I think that after 68 years of living there I can tell that this list uses German names that are NOT used in Holland/ the Netherlands.

  9. That's interesting, Sue. The perfect post to help us get in the mood for Christmas!

  10. Christmas Brownie???? Noooooo, Sue, that list has more wrong than right in it!

  11. I live in Hawaii but I have never heard the use of Kanakaloka for Santa Claus. I grew up in New Zealand and we always said the English, Father Christmas as kids but I think the American, Santa Claus has taken over there now.

  12. 70 names is quite surprising. Finland's being "Christmas goat" made me laugh. I wonder how and why a goat got introduced? I hope everybody is getting in to the spirit of Christmas...

  13. Hmmm, I haven't really heard Santa called Father Christmas here, but perhaps when the list was made it was used here in Canada.

    God bless.

  14. I never heard of Kris Kringle here. There is the Christkind (Baby Jesus)who brings the gifts on Christmas Eve. But thanks to American films and series, the Weihnachtsmann (Christmas man) is taking over and he looks just like Santa Claus including the stupid Ho-Ho-Ho.
    Hilde in Germany

  15. That Coca Cola Santa looks just like Alan when he's had half a dozen too many ... but his tummy is a lot slimmer these days. When we first met he wouldn't have needed a cushion down his top to play Santa!!