Santa around the world Kids News Article
For most Americans, Santa Claus is a jolly white-haired man in a red suit. However, this is only one representation from generous being who brings toys to good children on Christmas Eve. Other countries have their own versions of Santa Claus that in some cases don’t even appear at Christmas! Here are just a few of the many depictions of Santa-like characters from around the world.
Ded Moroz, Russia
Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, also brings gifts for well-behaved children in Russia. However, there are a few rigid differences between him and Santa Claus. Ded Moroz is taller, leaner, and always carries a silver or crystal staff with a twisted handle. Russian Santa Claus and his granddaughter Snegurochka, or Snow Maiden, deliver gifts in a troika — a sled drawn by three horses.
Unlike Father Christmas, who is from the North Pole, Ded Moroz lives in the picturesque city of Veliky Ustyug in northern Russia. He supposedly spends her summers reading the children’s gift requests. However, those expecting gifts at Christmas will have a disappointment. Ded Moroz only delivers on New Year’s Eve!
La Befana, Italy
Children in Italy do not receive visits from Santa Claus. Instead, they eagerly await the arrival of La Befana, or the Christmas Witch, on the night of January 5. Similar to the merry boy in red, La Befana enters the houses through the chimney and fills the stockings with presents and sweets for the “nice” children and coal for the “naughty ones”.
According to the locals folklore, when the Magi were looking for the child Jesus, they met an old woman and asked her if she would like to accompany them. She decreases the offer because she wanted to finish cleaning her house. Now, every year, the old lady travels the sky on her broomstick in the hope of finding and shower baby Jesus with gifts. The friendly, soot-covered witch is also known to sweep away any house she visits. To show their Acknowledgementmany families leave a glass of wine and a plate of traditional goodies the night before visiting La Befana.
The Yule Lads, Iceland
Every Christmas, Icelandic children look forward to a visit from one of 13 Yule Lads, who take turns sneak in their rooms for the 13 nights before Christmas Eve. The happy but mischievous the gnome-like creatures leave behind goodies for the good kids and rotten potatoes for the bad guys. The gifts depend on the personality of the Yule Lad in service and to differ Daily. The most popular is Kertasnýkir (candle thief). While the gnome, who makes an appearance on Christmas Eve, is known for stealing candles, he also leaves behind the most generous present.
Swiss children are visited by two Santa Clauses every December 6th. The good Santa Claus, named Samichlaus, is accompanied by a donkey carrying a bag of goodies like chocolates, peanuts and tangerines for distribute to good children. The “bad” Santa Claus, called Schmutzli, drags a bag of twigs on his back. While they are supposedly for naughty children, he rarely distributes them. Instead, he gently reminds children to behave.
Resources: bonvoyagewithkids.com, Buinessinsider.com, worldatlas.com, Smithsonianmag.com