by Annika Manley
Has curiosity ever come knocking on your door whispering Santa? Has it ever brought that small sliver of wonder to your head about what other countries consider santa as? Well it may come as a wonder to most people that Santa isn’t considered santa in other countries. They may not even have the same customs as we do.
In Russia their Santa Claus is considered Ded Moroz or translated in English as “Grandfather Frost” or “Frosted Father”. This santa only has three horses, known to have enough strength and speed that there is no need for eight reindeer. He is known to make his rounds on New Year’s Eve rather than on Christmas Eve, as we are accustomed too. He is also usually accompanied by a women called Snegurochka, or called in english, the snow maiden. She is known to be his granddaughter. Rather than staying in the North Pole, he stays in a estate in the Russian town of Veliky Ustyug, where children mail letters of their christmas wishes. If the children travel to this town they get to have their picture taken with Ded Moroz, similar to if you go to your mall and get your picture taken with Saint Nick. He also appears in well known Russian towns, making appearances in parades and festivals.
For the French Santa is called Pere Noel which means “Father christmas”, he isn’t much different from the Saint Nick we know now. He gives out candy and toys and for the not so nice children he gives them a spanking instead of coal. He has eight reindeer as we do and delivers toys on christmas eve.
Christmas in Ireland is not as close to America’s as the french was, there Father Christmas is called Santy or Daidi Na Nollag.Christmas here is spent from christmas eve all the way to the feast of the Epiphany or otherwise known as the little Christmas which is on January 6th. This is a highly religious festival for the Irish in which many attend. The Irish set candles in their windows as a sign of welcome for santy, letting him know he is welcome to there home. He delivers gifts on christmas eve as well which are to be opened the next morning.
Most of the people in Malta are catholics and attend a midnight mass church service, Christmas here is very important to them. A tradition for them is the Priedka tat-Tiefel, which is where children from 7-10 get up and preach in front of everyone instead of an actual preacher. In Malta there is a Village called Siggiewi. This was dedicated to Santa Claus who is referred to as San Niklaw, of Bari in Italy and it’s feast is celebrated in the last sunday of june. The children get their presents on Christmas Night, and sometimes he will even come by knocking on their doors bringing the children there gifts in person.
These are few of the many different traditions and different Saint Nicks all over the world, and the many amazing traditions that come along with it.