Names for Santa Around the World

Portrait of happy Santa Claus holding Christmas letter and looking at camera

Portrait of happy Santa Claus holding Christmas letter and looking at camera

In America, most of us most commonly know him as Santa Claus. And if asked for some other names for Santa, we typically think of St. Nick or perhaps Kris Kringle. But as we travel the globe, there are many other names for Santa. For those who truly love Christmas and Santa Claus in particular, it can be quite fun to dig a little deeper and learn about the other names for Santa around the world. Some – such as Father Christmas – may sound familiar as soon as you hear them, while others will be a true lesson in culture and language. Deepening your knowledge of Santa around the world will feed your love and passion for the holiday, so dig in and learn a little more about the many names for the man we know and love as Santa.

Santa Around the World

There really are so many names for Santa as we travel the globe. To get further acquainted with this man in red, check out the extensive list below of the different names used to refer to him.

Country Name for Santa
Belgium Pere Noeal
Brazil Papai Noel
Canada Santa Claus
Chile Viejo Pascuero (Old Man Christmas)
China Shengdan Laoren; Dun Che Lao Ren (Christmas Old Man)
England Father Christmas
Finland Joulupukki
France Pere Noel
Germany Saint Nikolaus; Weihnachtsmann (Christmas Man)
Hawaii Kanakaloka
Holland De Kertsman
Hungary Mikulas; Tel-apo; Winter Grandfather
India Santa Claus; Baba
Italy Babbo Natale
Japan Hoteiosho
Lithuania Kaledu Senelis
Morocco Black Peter
Netherlands Kertsman; Sinter Klaas
Norway Julenissen (Christmas Gnome)
Peru Papa Noel
Poland Swiety Mikolaj (St. Nicholas)
Russia Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost)
Scandinavia Julenisse
Spain El Nino Jesus
Sweden Tomten; Jultomten (Christmas Brownie)
United States Santa Claus; Kris Kringle; St. Nicholas


While some of these names may be familiar, you are bound to learn a thing or two about Santa Claus as you peruse the list. So many cultures and heritages have influenced these names over time, yet they all conjure up the same emotions no matter where you are in the world. Whether you know him as Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Pere Noel or Father Christmas, the image that we see is one of giving, joy and peace. The name may change, but what he represents stays the same. And the spirit of Christmas and Santa is what matters the most.