2017-12-06 / Front Page

Santa Claus…The Symbol of Christmas In Any Language

By Liz Goff
Just who is Santa Claus? Why, he’s the proprietor of the North Pole Toy Workshop, loved by people of all shapes and sizes in cities and towns all over the world.
  • Children in Russia know Santa as “Grondy Frost”
  • In Japan he’s “Hoteiosho,” an elf with eyes in the back of his head
  • Pere Noel or La Petit Jesus is the spry gent that brings toys to children in France
  • He’s known as “Sinterklaas” to children in the Netherlands and he arrives by steamboat on Christmas Eve
  • Santa is known as “Papa Noel” to children in Brazil
  • Children in Italy wait for “La Batana,” the kindly witch
  • In Hungary, he’s “Nikulas” or “St. Milulas”
  • In Finland, he’s “Joulipukki”
  • In Guatemala, the Christ Child brings gifts
  • In Norway, children leave porridge for “Nisse, The Christmas Buck”
  • Australian children know Santa as “Christkind” and,
  • Children in Bulgaria receive cheese pastry filled with coins and gifts from “Banitsa”

Santa Claus is known the world over as an animal lover, and he has a better record of on-time deliveries than the U.S. Post Office!

There is no exact date of birth on record for Santa Claus, but his age is estimated at 1,547 years old. He is the first to admit that he has a weight problem, but he has no plans to diet. And he possesses an uncanny ability to know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

Washington Irving was the first to depict Santa as a chubby pipe-smoker. Santa was depicted as an elf until an 1831 Coca Cola ad that made him the man he is today.

Children in France leave shoes in front of a fireplace for “Pere Noel” to fill, children in Poland get gifts from Santa twice during the Advent, and kids in Italy place shoes by their front door before the Epiphany for “La Batana” to fill.

Recognized as a citizen of the world with full freedom of the skies, his national heritage is not known. However, he acknowledges Greek, Italian, Dutch, English, German and Russian influences in his background and he often goes by the alias, “Kris Kringle.”

His favorite things about Queens are the “thousands of lights, a reflection of the wonder and magic of the season.” Santa describes Christmas in Queens as a “time for the young and old alike, a joyous time filled with a special magic.”

Call him Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus or Old St. Nick, but never doubt the wonder and happiness he brings to this most magic of seasons!


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