Test Your Global Santa IQ
Santa Claus. Jultomten. Père Noël. The magical figure who brings children presents once a year has many names and wears many costumes—and is an everlasting object of curiosity for children the world over. In honor of Curiosity Day, let’s discover some Santa traditions around the globe.
Papai Noel in Brazil
Papai Noel of Brazil wears a robe made of silk and drops off gifts in children’s socks instead of their stockings.
Mikulás in Hungary
In Hungary, kids leave boots near the window in the hopes that Mikulás will put treats in them as their reward for being good. If they’ve been naughty, they will get a wooden spoon instead!
Jultomten in Sweden
Jultomten is a small gnomelike Swedish Santa who travels with goats instead of reindeer.
Father Christmas in Australia
After enjoying a lunchtime “barbie” (barbecue), many families in Australia head to the beach, where they can see people dressed like Father Christmas riding on surfboards.
Saint Nicolas in Austria
In Austria, Saint Nicolas has a beastly sidekick with horns on his head who visits homes on December 5 and scares kids who’ve been naughty!
Hoteiosho in Japan
In Japan, there is a Buddhist monk with a big belly who delivers presents just like Santa. His name is Hoteiosho, and he keeps watch on children with eyes in the back of his head!
Père Noël in France
Kids in France leave fresh carrots in their shoes for Père Noël’s donkey in exchange for treats.
Grandfather Frost in Russia
Grandfather Frost travels around Russia on the night of New Year’s Eve handing out presents with his granddaughter, whose name is Snow Maiden.
Turn what you just learned into a fun game by reading the above out loud to your kids—but leave out the words in italics. Ask them to provide a guess for each missing word. The results are sure to result in some Santa silliness!