In North America, we are familiar with Jolly ‘Ol St. Nick with the red velvet outfit and long, white beard. But there are different versions of Santa Klaus around the world.
Here’s a list of Santa’s many versions around the world.
Krampus: Austria, Germany, France, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia and Hungary
Krampus comes from traditional German folklore. He’s more of a anti-Santa where he kidnaps and beat children who’ve been bad. So be good kids or else Krampus will be out to get ya!
Pere Fouettard: France and parts of Belgium.
Pere Fouettard is known as the whipping father. He works with Santa as the punisher of kids who’ve been misbehaving during the year. Pere Noel is his counterpart (Father Christmas) and rewards nice kids.
Sinterklaas and Black Peter: Netherlands and Belgium
Sinterklaas also travels the world giving out presents to the nice kids and leaving coal for the naughty ones. However, Sinterklaas has a helper, Black Peter. Peter makes the trip down the chimney chutes leaving him covered in soot hence giving him the name Black Peter.
Ded Moroz: Russia
Ded Moroz translates to Grandfather Frost. Instead of delivering presents to sleeping children, he likes handing them out in person. He also has a helper, though not an elf. His granddaughter, Snegurochka (the snow maiden) helps give out presents to kids.
La Befana: Italy
La Befana is a witch who delivers gifts to children in some part of Italy. She uses a broomstick instead of a sleigh carrying a large sack filled with toys. She delivers presents to children in their homes.
Tomte: Norway, Sweden, Denmark
Tomte delivers gifts to children in these parts of the world. But households usually leave a bowl of porridge for Tomte instead of the traditional cookies and milk in North America.