The holiday spirit is in the air, and people around the world are getting ready to celebrate. Every religion and culture has set their own traditions for this time of the year. You can even find Santa Claus has different manifestations depending on the country. Check out below for some interesting characters you can find around the world this holiday season:
In Japan, we can find Hoteiosho. He is a plump Buddhist monk with eyes on the back of his head. On Christmas day, Japanese families spend their time doing charity work. However on New Year’s Eve, households around the country clean, decorate, and throw beans around the house for good luck awaiting for his arrival.
In Holland, Sinterklass and his friend Black Pete make their arrival by steamboat. Over the course of three weeks they distribute toys to the good children. However be careful if you have been naughty! The bad children get snatched up by the helpers and dragged to Spain in body bags.
La Befana, a witch, makes an appearance in Italy as the joyous holiday figurehead. She usually makes her appearance either on Christmas or Epiphany Day. Traditionally Italian families will leave out a glass of wine and some food out for her arrival. She leaves candies or figs to the good kids. For the bad kids, she leaves either coal or dark candy. So whether you have been good or bad, you may end up with candy.
During this time of the year, Russians welcome Ded Moroz, Old Man Frost, and his granddaughter Sengurochka, Snow Girl, to their homes. Unlike other Santa Claus versions, they bring the presents to the children in person at New Year’s parties. He is believed to reside in Veliky Ustyug and comes into town by troika, a sleigh drawn by three horses side-by-side.
I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the amazing Santa-like characters around the world. So get in the holiday spirit and take a tip from Santa. Make a list and check it twice, and make sure to send us your translation requests before Santa Claus comes into town!