Fictional gift givers in different societies

Santa Gift BringerChristmas is a time for giving and receiving gifts, a time of hope and happiness and all that is good in the world. Children wait for Santa to come down the chimney and leave gifts for them and fill their stockings with goodies. Each country, region, society or continent has its own traditional gift giver (a fictional character) around whom have spun stories and fables that have descended down generations to reach us. Here are some popular and well known gift givers from around the world.

Different names

  1. Though in most of Europe and North America the gift giver is called Santa Claus, in many European countries he is known by different names.
  2. In Austria, for example he is known as Christkind meaning Christ child. In Bulgaria he is known as Père Noel meaning Father Christmas in simple translation. He is known by the same name (Père Noel) in most French speaking areas of the world.
  3. In Italy the gift bringer is called Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) and even Gesù Bambino (’Baby Jesus’). In Greece he is known as ‘Saint Basil’ while in Netherlands he goes by the name of Kerstman (Christ man).
  4. In Spain people address him as Papá Noel (Father Noel/Christmas), in Russia he is called (Ded Moroz, (Grandfather Frost) while the Scots address him as Bodach na Nollaig (Old Man of Christmas).
  5. In the USA he has many names; he is called Santa Claus; Kris Kringle; Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick.
  6. In Australia and New Zealand, he is called Father Christmas. He is also called by the same name in South Africa while in Egypt and Iran he is known as Baba Noel.
  7. Due to western influence the people of India celebrate Christmas much along the lines of an American one and the gift giver is addressed as Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus in every day parlance.

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