What Santa Claus Looks Like Around The World
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For Americans, Santa Claus is a jolly, white-haired man in a red suit. But that is just one version of the generous being who brings well-behaved children toys on Christmas Eve. Here are a few of the many portrayals of Santa-like figures worldwide.
In France, children look forward to the arrival of Père Noël, or "Father Christmas," every year. The stylish Santa wears a fashionable red cloak with a fur-lined hood. He fills the shoes of well-behaved kids with small gifts or treats on Christmas Eve. Père Noël's companion, Père Fouettard, or the "Whipping Father," is not as friendly. His job is to "spank" kids who have been "naughty" during the year.
Children in Italy look forward to a visit from La Befana, or "Christmas Witch," on the night of January 5. Similar to Santa, La Befana enters homes late at night via the chimney. She brings presents and candy for "nice" children and coal for the "naughty" ones.
According to local folklore, when the Three Wise Men were seeking baby Jesus, they asked an elderly woman to join them. She declined because she wanted to finish cleaning her house. The old lady now flies across Italy on her broomstick every year in the hopes of finding and showering baby Jesus with gifts. The friendly, soot-covered witch is also known to sweep the houses she visits. To show their gratitude, families often leave her a glass of wine and a plate of traditional treats.
In Iceland, Christmas means a visit from the 13 Yule Lads. The gnome-like creatures take turns sneaking into kids' rooms on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas Eve. The presents depend on the personality of the Yule Lad on duty and differ daily. Kertasnýkir (Candle Stealer), who makes an appearance on Christmas Eve, is the most popular. The Yule Lad "steals" candles, but leaves behind the most generous presents.
Swiss children get a visit from two Santas every December 6. Samichlaus, the "good" Santa, comes with a donkey carrying a sack of treats for well-behaved kids. The "bad" Santa, called Schmutzli, has a bag of twigs for naughty kids. However, he rarely hands them out. Instead, he gently reminds kids to behave.
Resources: Insider.com, worldstrides.com, wikipedia.com
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- emina_news4 monthsthe kfc....i really want some rn :(
- newsmp4 monthsI thought SANTA is same everywhere
- claire_234 monthsI never want to go or live In France anymore. Just in case I become naughty! ( don't want to be spanked)
- anjalazqnja5 monthsI tought he looked the same everywhere 😭😂
- hades135 monthsThe 2nd picture is like MMM yall better be nice or you aint gettin nothing from me!
- charliehuizenga5 monthssoooooo cooooool
- lucia33335 monthshi the wipping forther is so so skeery like the way it goes
- willthebest5 monthsI can't believe that France's Santa spanks kids if they are naughty. I can't believe that happening in the USA!
- blaisel3055 monthsthe iceland look like gnomes
- numenorisntdead5 monthsI go to a german school but we know all about Samichlaus and Schmutzli. In german he's called Krampus and in both versions, he carries a bag of sticks to whip you. kinda crazy