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Festivity - Father Christmas, St. Nicholas or Santa Claus

'Father Christmas' or 'Santa Claus' has become the most popular Christmas symbol. Pictures are seen everywhere of the old man with big belly, long white beard, red coat, a kindly cheerful smile on his face, sparkling eyes and a bag full of toys. Children believe that he brings them presents the night before Christmas. In most countries children believe that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi, north of the Arctic Circle and arrives through the sky on a sled pulled by reindeer. He enters into houses down the chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in socks or bags by their beds or under the Christmas tree(xmas tree). Popular belief is that the Saint Nicholas was the 4th century Catholic bishop of Myra (a city now in Turkey) in Asia Minor, who gave treats to children and regarded as a special friend and protector of children.

The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840–1902),. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland.

He is also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kriss Kringle, Santy or simply Santa. In many countries, Father Christmas is also known in many names as below:

  • Afghanistan - Baba Chaghaloo
  • America- Santa Claus
  • Armenia - Gaghant Baba
  • Brazil - Papai Noel
  • China- Dun Che Lao Ren (-China's Santa)
  • Czech Republic - Ježíšek
  • Denmark - Julemanden
  • England- Father Christmas
  • France and French Canada - Le Père Noël
  • Germany – Nikolaus- Weihnachtsmann
  • Hungary- Winter-grandfather
  • India- Christmas Father
  • Iraq and South Africa – Goosaleh
  • Ireland & Scottish Highlands - Daidí na Nollag
  • Italy - Babbo Natale
  • Portugal - Pai Natal
  • Romania - Mos Craciun
  • Russia ….. Grandfather Frost" (Ded Moroz)
  • Spain and Mexico - Papá Noel
  • Netherlands and Belgium – Sinterklaas
Recently, ‘Father Christmas’ became so popular that he is used as a promotional tool for many shopping malls, Departmental stores and Food courts during Christmas time to attract kids and also parents. Jesus Christ has been forgotten now, and the traditions surrounding Christmas have provided the basis for a secular winter festival of celebration and gift giving.
Read more…..>>>>> The Christmas tree Legends
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