Of course we love Santa because he gives us gifts on Christmas morning. But that makes us curious who gives out gifts or coal in other countries. You wont believe how beautiful these illustrations of Santa’s from all around the world. You might be surprised!
Check it out.
This is a vintage postcard of Father Christmas (der Weihnachtsmann) from Germany. He is so natural and traditional in appearance. Children receive small gifts and coins in their shoes throughout the advent. Then Father Christmas brings the main gifts on December 24th.
One of the amazing traditions in Germany are the large open Christmas markets. Decorated with lights and Christmas trees these markets sell ornaments, food and Christmas delights.
All of these tie back to this beautiful image that is so grounded in nature.
In Finland and Sweden gifts are given by Tomte (they also help with chores). As pictured in this vintage illustration, these are small Nordic gnomes which are quite mischievous. These two are chatting it up, possibly conspiring to trick someone. There are lots of Tomte in this tradition, and they are quite adorable. Children leave behind a bowl of porridge and milk on Christmas Eve.
We have more more information on a Swedish Christmas here.
For many years, Russian citizens were banned from celebrating Christmas, so even today it is a humble, quiet celebration. This more traditional looking Santa is called Grandfather Frost. In this illustration, he bundled warm as it Russia after all. He is also accompanied by his granddaughter, the snow maiden (Snegurochka). She is depicted with long locks of blonde hair. They are both summoned by children who hold hands around the tree on Christmas Eve.
Many orthodox Christian Russians, do not eat any meat on Christmas Eve. They feast on beetroot porridge and sauerkraut.
In Hungary, Jesus, St Nicolas or Telapo comes and delivers presents under the tree while the children wait in a nearby room. As is tradition in many countries their shoes are also filled with goodies.
Have you heard of Krampus, who traditionally accompanies Santa in several European countries? He snatches up naughty boys and girls, and hits them with a switch. Now that lump of coal looks pretty kind. This postcard shows Krampus taking a naughty child.
I had not heard about this holiday devil until this year, and it’s hard to believe this is real. Yes, children in other countries do learn of him and they are told to be good or he will come and take them.
La Befana is a witch like Santa who flies on her broomstick with a bushel of gifts for children in Italy. Yeh. A woman Santa. Children put their stockings by the fireplace for Befana to fill with her goodies. Love this photo with her lurking in the doorway. She is holding gifts while the children hang their socks.
You wont believe these Santa’s from all around the world
If you have other Santa’s to share, leave us a comment or a link in the comment section.
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