I hope you will find these stories of Santa Claus around the world and traditions of Christmas around the world for kids as fascinating as I do and share them with your children!
Finland claims to have the REAL North Pole with the real Santa in Lapland. You can visit the North Pole, see Santa's post office, visit his reindeer, step on the arctic circle, and spend time with the man himself. The post office receives letters to Santa from all over the world.
Here, children get a visit from the Weihnachtsmann. The name translates to “Christmas Man”, and he is our German version of Santa Claus. But the Weihnachtsmann doesn't visit all German children. Some families will receive a visit from the Christkind instead, an angel-like figure who drops presents underneath the Christmas tree.
Of all the names of Santa Claus around the world, Denmark's is quite unique. In Denmark, Santa is referred to as Julemanden, which translates to “The Yule Man.” In Danish folklore, Nisse, also similar to gnomes, would bring all sorts of mischief, while the “Julenisse” would bring good fortune if treated well.
Here, we don't have a father Christmas or a typical western view of this persona. Instead, we have Baby Jesus that brings gifts to kids. In Czech, we call him Ježíšek, which is a form of the name of Jesus but very small. When baby Jesus comes with a gift, he would typically have a bell and ring it so people could pick up the presents but he must not be seen.
Papai Noel is basically the Brazilian Santa Claus. For starters, “Papai” is Portuguese for daddy and “Noel” comes from the Latin Natalis, which means “relating to birth.” This friendly guy wears red and has a long white beard, and although he is very old, he travels all the way from the North Pole to bring gifts to Brazilian children.