It’s No Holiday for Santa Claus! Father Christmas – a much loved figure worldwide.
We have a traditional image of Santa Claus as a large, jolly, red-cheeked man with a fluffy, white beard, busy delivering presents to all the good children from his sleigh pulled by loyal flying reindeer. He spends all year at his Headquarters in the North Pole, checking his present delivery list and making sure that all the gifts are ready for the busiest night of his working calender. On Christmas Eve, he works hard to ensure all the presents arrive safely by landing on the roof tops and sliding his way down the chimney, stopping on his way to munch through mince pies and sherry. Here in the UK, we are not the only country to celebrate this Christmas figurehead, with this bringer of gifts being known in other countries around the world but in different guises and names.
Santa Claus and his many guises.
In Catalonia, children have their gifts delivered by Tio de Nadal – a Christmas log with a face on it. Traditionally, families cover the log with a blanket every night and on December 8th start to “feed” it. Then on Christmas Eve, they place it on a roaring fire and find their gifts under the log’s blanket.
In Estonia, little ones across the country are visited by a gnome-like figure called Joulvana. For a song and a dance the “Yule Elder” will leave perfectly-wrapped presents. And not forgetting his favourite snack – marinated herring on black rye bread!
Santa Claus is known throughout the world by many names:
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