This is what Father Christmas is called in every European country

Louis Dor
Thursday 14 December 2017 09:15
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Picture:(Jakub Marian)

If you're from the UK it's Father Christmas, not Santa Claus. No matter what the adverts try to tell you.

A version of this name dominates western Europe in different languages - the French have Père Noël, the Spanish have Papá Noel, the Italians have Babbo Natale and the Irish have Daidí na Nollag.

Other variants focus on 'Christmas Man' or on Jesus, as 'Christ-Child' or similar.

These different names also represent the different gift-bringers in European cultures.

For example, the Italians have La Befana, an old woman or witch who brings gifts to children on 5 January in a similar manner to the legend of St. Nicholas, Father Christmas.

She fills their socks with sweets and presents if they are good, or a lump of coal or dark coloured sweets if they've been bad - or in Sicily a stick in a stocking.

She appears in the Christian legend of the birth of Christ as a woman who the three wise men asked for directions. She put them up for the night and was known as the best housekeeper in the village (hence the witch's broom).

They asked if she wanted to join them to watch the birth of Christ, but she declined, saying she was too busy. She later had a change of heart and was unable to find them. The myth goes that she is still looking for the baby to this day.

You can browse the map, below, made by Czech Linguist, budding cartographer and Mathematician Jakub Marian, for a breakdown:

Picture: Jakub Marian(Jakub Marian)

Here's the full list, written out:

Albania: Babagjyshi i Vitit te Ri, Grandfather of the new year

Austria: Christkind, Christ-Child

Belarus: Дзед Маро́з, Grandfather Frost (or the Russian version)

Belgium: In Dutch: Kerstman, Christmas Man, In French: Père Noël, Father Christmas

Bosnia: Djed Božićnjak, Grandfather Christmas or Djeda Mraz, Grandfather Frost

Bulgaria: Дядо Коледа, Grandfather Christmas or Дядо Мраз, Grandfather Frost

Croatia: Djed Božićnjak, Grandfather Christmas

Cyprus: Turkish: Noel Baba, Christmas Father, Greek: Άγιος Βασίλης, Saint Basil

Czech Republic: Ježíšek, Baby Jesus

Denmark: Julemanden, The Christmas Man

Finland: Joulupukki, literally Christmas Goat

France: Père Noël, Father Christmas

Germany: Weihnachtsmann, Christmas Man or Christkind, Christ-Child

Greece: Άγιος Βασίλης, Saint Basil

Hungary: Jézuska, Baby Jesus (with an angel), or Télapó, Winter Old Man

Iceland: Jólasveinar, Christmas lads

Ireland: Father Christmas

In Irish: Daidí na Nollag, Father Christmas

Italy: Babbo Natale, Daddy Christmas

Lithuania: Kalėdų Senelis, Grandfather Christmas

Latvia: Ziemassvētku vecītis, Christmas Old Man

Estonia: Jõuluvana, Christmas Old

Macedonia: Дедо Мраз, Grandfather Frost

Montenegro: Деда Мраз, Grandfather Frost

Netherlands: Kerstman, Christmas Man

Norway: Julenissen, literally Christmas gnome

Poland: Święty Mikołaj, Saint Nicholas; Gwiazdor, Star-man; Gwiazdka,Little Star; Aniołek, Angel; or Dzieciątko, Jesus Child (depending on region)

Portugal: Pai Natal, Father Christmas

Romania: Moş Crăciun, Old Man Christmas

Transylvania (Hungarian): Angyal, Angel

Russia: Дед Мороз, Grandfather Frost

Serbia: Деда Мраз, Grandfather Frost

Slovakia: Ježiško, Baby Jesus

Slovenia: Božiček, Christmas Man or Dedek Mraz, Grandfather Frost

Spain: Papá Noel, Daddy Christmas or Reyes Magos, Three Kings, In Catalonia: Tió de Nadal, Christmas log, In Basque: Olentzero (proper name, represented by an old man)

Sweden: Jultomten, literally Christmas gnome

Switzerland:, In German: Christkind, Christ-child, In French: Père Noël, Father Christmas, In Italian: Babbo Natale, Daddy Christmas

Turkey: Noel Baba, Christmas Father

Ukraine: Святий Миколай, Saint Nicholas or Дід Мороз, Grandfather Frost

United Kingdom: Father Christmas, In Welsh: Siôn Corn, John Chimney, In Scottish Gaelic: Bodach na Nollaig, Christmas Old Man

HT Jakub Marian

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