December 25, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part XII: The Most Wonderful Santa Claus Of All

We've studied Santa Claus in English (twice, even!), French, Italian, Polish, German, Spanish, Dutch and a handful of other languages. We even mapped references to various accompanying figures who dole out the punishments so that Santa doesn't have to.

But which of these representations of Santa Claus is the most prevalent? According to our tallies, plain ole Santa Claus is still the most wonderful of them all, as one might expect. But when comparing references to the top 10 versions of Santa Claus, a spatial mosaic of Christmassy cheer is evident, with each version of Santa existing in a somewhat clearly defined region, but with plenty of overlap. Just because references to Santa Claus are the most prevalent doesn't mean he can't coexist with alter-egos Père Noël, Weihnactshmann and Sinterklaas. Indeed, they seem to be getting along just fine.
Whether one is a Christian or not, the prevalence of Christmas celebrations around the world - not to mention the rampant consumerism built up around it - has made Santa Claus a lovable figure no matter what one believes, or even where one lives. But as we've shown in the eleven posts leading up to this finale, people celebrate Christmas differently in different places (and why wouldn't they?). But so what? What does mapping references to Santa Claus in Google Maps have to do with anything?

Like all Floatingsheep maps, we're attempting to connect the daily, lived practices of people to digital representations of those practices. By seeing that Polish Christmas characters show up almost exclusively in Poland, and similarly for any other country, it's easy to see how, while imperfect, the digital representations yielded by Google Maps are very much reflective of the many people's offline realities.

No matter what you each may believe, a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

p.s. see you in the new year!

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part XI: The Underbelly of Christmas

In this post we've decided to explore the less joyful side of Christmas. We conducted searches for three characters -- Zwarte Piet, Le Père Fouettard and Krampus -- that have a habit of dishing out punishments to bad children over the holiday season.
Which of these three characters would you least like to have over for tea? Well it turns out that while both Zwarte Piet and Père Fouettard have a penchant for dishing out floggings to children (and for some reason abducting them to Spain in the case of Zwarte Piet), it is the not-too-photogenic Krampus that draws the line at scaring children with bells. It also is rumoured that Austrian fascists weren't too keen on the guy. In the spirit of the my enemy's enemy proverb, we decided to see how Krampus performed in online visibility compared to his child beating colleagues.
It turns out, not too badly. As would be expected, Zwarte Piet is most visible in the Netherlands and Père Fouettard is most visible in France. Belgium is evenly split between the two, so poorly-behaved, Flemish-speaking Belgian children can expect their whippings from Zwarte Piet and French speakers can expect beatings from Père Fouettard. Zwarte Piet also seems to make brief appearances in Berlin, Venice and London, but it is Krampus who really has the most geographic mobility, with sightings all over Europe.

We're not sure what they moral of this tale is, but if you see an ugly, horned monster-like creature speaking Austrian German wandering about your neighbourhood, try not to panic.

December 24, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part X: The Balkanisation of the Eastern Santaspheres

Searches for Santa's equivalent in Eastern Europe displays none of the Christmassy diversity of the western half of the continent. Święty Mikołaj is largely found in Poland, Kalėdų Senelis in Lithuania, and their counterparts also largely stay confined to the borders of the states that imagined them into being.

In fact, the diversity between variations on Santa Claus seems to have more to do with the relative dense of each country's cyberscape. For example, it is likely that there are more references to the Estonian Jõuluvana (green dots) than the equivalent terms in neighboring countries simply because Estonia has much higher rates of Internet penetration.

There are however, some interesting exceptions to the balkanisation of these Eastern Santaspheres. Ded Moroz (Дед Мороз), in particular, seems to stray widely from his Russian base. He is far more visible in Ukraine (particularly the Eastern portion) than his close cousin Дід Мороз (Did Moroz). He also seems to stray into Moldova, Germany, the Netherlands, and even eastern France. Despite his broad geographic mobility, Mr. Moroz is totally absent from many countries containing sizable Russian minorities (e.g Russians in northeastern Estonia, and parts of Latvia).

Also worthy of mention is that Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa, appears in virtual santascapes across the continent. Is he fleeing the harsh Finnish winter? Avoiding yet another karelian pie? or simply picking up a diversity of presents for all the Finnish children who can't bear to see yet another moomin?

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part IX: The Low Countries

We should admit from the start that we are mixing Santa traditions rather more loosely than perhaps we should. Especially given the rich array of characters in the Dutch/Flemish traditions, where you have Sint Niklaas (St. Nicholas) and Sinterklaas, both associated with the holiday celebrated on December 6th. Sinterklaas is arguably the origin of Santa Claus (after he was reinterpreted in the U.S.), but according to Dutch tradition lives in Spain. Other figures are Kerstman (who delivers presents around Christmas, and thus more like Santa Claus) and Kleeschen, which is a tradition largely limited to tiny Luxembourg.

We're sure that we'll be told how we messed up the characters, but for now we're throwing them all in, plus for a little excitement we're tossing in Zwarte Piet (the guy with the switch/whip).

As in Germany, there seems to be a North/South split with Sint Niklaas being more prevalent in Belgium and Sinterklaas more prominent in the Netherlands, with a thin buffer of Kerstman references in between. Hard to know what exactly is going on, but Sinterklaas does seem to be more of a Dutch thing and poor Kleeschen can't seem to escape Luxembourg.

More interesting is that this region seems much less preoccupied with the "bad guy" of the season, which in this case is Zwarte Piet. There is only one spot in the Netherlands that has more references to him than anyone else. A bit surprising but perhaps it is tied to him not being nearly as scary as some of the other "bad guys" out there, such as Krampus.

For an extremely funny interpretation of the Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet tradition, which we highly recommend, see David Sedaris' monologue in text and on audio.

December 23, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part VIII: La Navidad de España

As we've already covered in our series of posts up to this point, Christmas traditions are incredibly varied around the world. In fact, we haven't even gone past Europe and we've found a number of different ways that people celebrate the holidays. Spain is no exception, with a unique combination of religious iconography and regionally-specific characters.
Closest to the traditional notion of Santa Claus in Spain is Papá Noel (shown in red), and one can see that references to the portly bearded guy we all know and love are scattered across the country. We suspect that the scattering of references to Papá Noel in francophone Europe may actually be for Papa Noël, the French spelling.

More prevalent than Papá Noel, however, is the tradition of the Three Kings who bring gifts on the celebration of the Epiphany, just as Christian lore says the kings came to deliver gifts to the baby Jesus. In castellano, they are called the "Reyes Magos", and in Catalan, they are the "Reis Mags", a linguistic difference that can be seen in the widespread diffusion of references to Reyes Magos and the clustering of references to Reis Mags in Catalonia.

Another important Catalan figure is the Tió de Nadal. It's like a Christmas tree, but you feed it candy in the weeks leading up to Christmas and then it poops them out on command. Life of the holiday party, he is, that Tió de Nadal. His star seems to be fading a bit as there is but a single purple dot in Catalonia, where references to him predominate.

On the other side of the country, in the Basque region (including parts of Spain and France), the Olentzero is the quasi-mythical figure who brings presents to children on Christmas eve. Although many legends about the Olentzero abound, he is always a giant, and has come to coexist with the many other more universal Christmas traditions in the surrounding regions.

¡Feliz Navidad!

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part VII: German Diversity

Now that we've covered variations on Santa Claus in English, French, Italian and Polish, it's time to turn our attention to German speaking Europe, where a number of versions of Santa abound.

Both St. Nikolaus and Sankt Nikolaus are variations on Saint Nicholas, who is celebrated on December 6th. References to these keywords in the southern portion of Germany make sense, as this region is predominantly Catholic and would have more saints -- of all colors, shapes and creeds (OK, maybe not creeds as they're mostly Catholic) -- and be more likely to celebrate Saint Nicholas' Day.
As a result of the Catholicism in the south, Weihnachtsmann, the guy who delivers presents on the 24th, is more prevalent in Northern Germany, which is mostly Protestant. Perhaps Weihnachten is less anthropomorphized in the south and more of a religious celebration. In the northern part of Germany, evangelic and and less tradition, the Weihnachtsmann bringing presents may play a more prominent role than the religious celebration. Also make sure to be careful with the spelling, as weih nackt mann has a completely different meaning.

Other Santa-like traditions in Germany include the Christkind (Christ child), who also brings presents at Christmas, and is limited to a few scattered sites within our search. Based on a reader's suggestion (thanks!) we included Samichlaus, which shows up as small but very clear cluster in Switzerland, and Kleeschen, which is a tradition in Luxembourg.

Because we were able to see linguistic differences so strongly in our Santa maps, particularly the forthcoming map for Spain, we thought it would be worthwhile to focus on the distribution of the main names for Santa in French, German and Italian. We're particularly interested in Switzerland given its linguistic diversity. We should note that we're not including some local Swiss variants such as Samichlaus in these maps. Still some interesting results.
There is fairly clear division between the French speaking cantons in Eastern Switzerland and the German speaking ones to the North and center. The Italian term of Babbo Natale doesn't seem to have made much headway into the country as of yet.

Of related interest is that increased prevalence of Christkind in Austria which contrasts with southern and northern Germany. Perhaps this serves as the counterweight to to the Austrian preoccupation with Krampus (see map 1). Given that Krampus is the evil one and not the one bringing gifts, this is a bit surprising. But then again, once you get a look at him it's easy to understand why Austrians might be fixated on him.


December 22, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part VI: Polish Puzzles

Gwiazdor and Święty Mikołaj were the two Polish terms for Santa Claus we searched and again it is very striking the extent to which they correspond with formal and linguistic borders. We must admit, however, that we are fairly uninformed when it come to Polish Christmas traditions, but our understanding (i.e., what we can decipher from a Google translation of the Polish wikipedia page) is that both characters deliver presents although Święty Mikołaj seems to be the more direct derivative of Santa.

This is probably a good time to note (again) that Santa Claus is a cultural artifact from Anglo (particularly American) practice and his diffusion has a lot to do with U.S. political and cultural power (and probably not that much to do with the Holy Roman Empire).

While many countries had similar figures, the timing of arrival (St. Nicholas' Day in early December or the Epiphany in January) varied as did the image, dress and role.
All of that being said, we have no good interpretation for the spatial distribution seen in the map above. The Wikipedia article does note that Gwiazdor is associated with the "areas of Wielkopolska and Kujawy (specifically, those parts which were under Prussian rule), Kashubian and Kociewie" which seems to correspond with out maps but we'll leave it to the readers to decide. Regardless, the extent to which Polish-language references are constricted to the formal boundaries, and what appears to be two equally legitimate claims on the proper name for a Santa Claus-like figure, remain especially interesting.

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part V: Italy and the Coca Cola Santa

Our comparison for terms in Italian are "Babbo Natale" and "La Befana", which we are the first to admit are not directly comparable. La Befana is an old witch (seemingly relatively benign) who brings presents/coal to good/bad children on the eve of Epiphany (in January), which is when some traditions say the Wise men showed up. We thought that Babbo Natale is simply the Italian version of Santa.

We can't say that the map below shows much pattern between these two characters, but it does act as a nice depiction of the range of Italian in Europe: primarily spoken on the "boot" (and Sicily and Sardinia) but crossing national borders in the north.

What we were not expecting to find is that Babbo Natale is considered by many to be an invention of Coca Cola as a marketing device. Even more shocking is that some view Coca Cola as a non-authentic cultural actor rather than a bringer of light, goodness and carbonated beverages (OK, we're kidding about the last point). Still, it again highlights the complexity of the Christmas tradition in cultures other than one's own.

The historical equivalent of Santa Claus in the Italian tradition, according to our trusted local informant, is "Presepe" or "Gesù Bambino", the new born Jesus. In hindsight, it could have been very interesting to compare Gesù Bambino to Babbo Natale in order to see the differences between traditional Italian practices and corporate marketing. Sadly, we didn't have Gesù Bambino on our search list and we'll have to wait until next year.

December 21, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part IV: En France, L'État, c'est Père Noël

After something of an Anglo-centric start to our series of twelve posts (see Part II and Part III), it's time to appease those Francophile Floatingsheep Fanatics. Focusing our attention on two separate, but not interchangeable, terms -- Père Noël and Père Fouettard -- we can start drawing some fairly clear conclusions about the way the French celebrate Christmas. Le Père Noël est très formidable. Even more interesting is how well the use of Père Noël illuminates the linguistic contours of French speakers, primarily France but also extending into parts of Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
For the most part, it is commonly accepted that the French simply use Père Noël as the local translation of Santa Claus (although technically it means Father Christmas). Indeed, the comparison shown in the map above shows Père Noël to be the dominant representation within the country, unlike the UK where there is fierce competition between Santa Claus and Father Christmas.

With Père Noël established as the legitimate bearded giver of gifts in France, why include Père Fouettard in our search?

Thanks to a helpful comment from a reader, we became aware that Père Fouettard is a locally-specific tradition in Lotharingen, France. And true enough, the cluster of four green dots signifying the prevalence of Père Fouettard in the northeast of France is the general location of Lotharingen.

But who is this le Père Fouettard anyways? Well, he's the one that accompanies St. Nicholas to punish (literally whip) all of those kids who don't deserve awesome presents. So, frankly, you don't want to get to know the guy. Kind of makes you feel sorry for all those folks in eastern France, doesn't it? But at least one can understand the preoccupation with keeping track of where "the whipping father" is.

And don't worry, we're tracking some other variations of St. Nicholas' posse, such as Krampus and Zwarte Piet. Unfortunately we seem to have missed Belsnickel.

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part III: A new Holy Roman Emperor?

Now that we've explained the thinking behind this year's Search for Santa (in Part I) and mapped out references to two of the most popular names for that old bearded guy (in Part II), we thought we'd begin expanding our analysis to the plethora of terms we searched for. The second map in our series, presented here, continues to analyze English-language terms, this time including the names "Saint Nicholas", "Santy" and "Kris Kringle", but with a broader focus on the European continent rather than just the UK.
What we can see is that while Father Christmas seems to be focused on England, Santa Claus really gets around. His name has been inscribed on the virtual landscape all the way from Portugal to central Russia. Unlike other more ethnolinguistically specific terms for Santa, "Santa Claus" appears to be incredibly prevalent no matter where one might be.

But most interestingly, the area with the highest concentration of references to Santa closely corresponds to the old Holy Roman Empire. Coincidence? We think not. Consider the following hypothetical word morphology.

Charlemagne (800 C.E.)
Sharla Maens (1157 C.E.)
Shanta Claes (1613 C.E.)
Santa Claus (1800 C.E.)

Clearly there is a connection.

Note also that Santa Claus reigns supreme at world's most christmassy point: Kittilä, Finland.

While Santa Claus seems to be the primary term across most of Europe, it's also possible to notice the not insignificant number of points where references to "Saint Nicholas" predominate, perhaps indicating the greater cultural importance of Saint Nicholas' Day on December 6 in some regions. And though Santy is something of an Irish name for the old guy, references to "Santy" seem more prevalent at scattered points around France and Spain, while "Kris Kringle" is all but absent from the European Yule-tide cyberscape.

December 20, 2010

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part II: Who are all these old men with bushy beards?

We've all heard about these old men wearing red outfits and sporting bushy white beards. But who are they really? Santa Claus or Father Christmas? We decided was about time to figure out who these dodgy characters are. Over the next eleven posts, we will be mapping references to the many names given to these old men (and women! and other creatures, too!) that we've collected, as documented in Part I of our series.

In this post we compare references to Santa Claus and Father Christmas in the British Isles. We see that Father Christmas is far more likely to be inscribed on the Christmassy landscape in England and Wales, while references to Santa Claus are more prevalent in Scotland and Ireland.
Father Christmas is traditionally associated with being the gift bearing bearded old man that visits children in the UK. So why do we see so many references to Santa Claus in Scotland and Ireland? Is this a cunning celtic plot to usurp the hegemonic British gift-giver (albeit replacing him with a central character in American culture)?

Based on our research, the Irish generally refer to this bearded old man with his nickname, "Santy". Our preliminary mapping failed to show a significant number of references to Santy, so perhaps the prevalence of the bearded man's full name in the cyberscape is indicative of the jolly guy's efforts to be taken more seriously amongst the Irish. Passing out gifts to billions of people in a matter of less than 24 hours is a lot of work, and Santa Claus doesn't appreciate his work being trivialized.

The Twelve Posts of Santa, Part I: The Search

Based on the names listed in our previous posting and the helpful reader comments (thanks!), we have completed our data gathering efforts for the 2nd Annual Search for Santa. This time, our search area is limited to Europe, broadly defined, and can be found in the white box outlined below.
Search Area for Santa Claus

Over the next week, we're going to start bringing you two posts a day mapping the results of this year's Search for Santa in a variety of different ways. For example, how does "Santa Claus" compare to "Father Christmas" in the U.K.? How do the various linguistic/cultural traditions map? Switzerland should be interesting. Are there differences between Catholic and Protestant parts of Germany?

The frequency tables for the data are below. Santa Claus still retains the lead, but Père Noël and Der Weihnachtsmann are close behind.

December 17, 2010

The "Power" of Maps

In addition to power of maps in shaping world views that we highlighted in the previous post, we neglected to point some of the more prosaic (albeit powerful) uses of maps. Unfortunately these applications likely work best with paper rather than digital maps.

Thanks to Martin Dodge again who keeps us well supplied with "good" mapping references.
For those of you unfamiliar with MacGyver.

December 15, 2010

Crowdsourcing the price of Weed

In the last few years, we've seen how crowdsourcing has been employed for a range of important tasks including disaster relief in Haiti, monitoring the recent Kenyan elections, and now mapping the price of weed. This is a great example of how crowdsourcing can produce information that is simply unavailable otherwise. After all, there are no official price data on marijuana markets given its illegality.

Map from the Website
(Green = < $300 per oz; Yellow = $3oo-400 per oz; Red = > $400 per oz

Quite an interesting distribution with cost rising as one moves west from the Pacific coast (with Oregon being the cheapest). Florida shows up as a low spot as well. Both patterns are consistent with what is known about the geographies of production and distribution. Of course given the overall much lower reported prices for weed in Canada (is it subsidized?), one has to wonder if this site will only serve to further increase the US trade deficit.

We have previously done some analysis on the geographies of marijuana, if anyone wants to compare.

December 07, 2010

Map of Wikileaks list of facilities 'vital to US security'

One of the most interesting, and perhaps controversial, bits of information from the recent release of the Wikileaks US embassy cables has been the list of locations deemed vital to US security. Since this information is now in the public domain, we were interested in visualizing the data spatially.

The first step was to take the rather messy data and identify individual entries. In some cases it was no more specific than "Indonesia: Tin Mine and Plant". In other cases it named a pipeline, a port, or a city in which an undersea cable made landfall. Next, using the geocoder (as well as some Wikipedia entries), we (along with the much appreciated help of Zach U. and Tim B.) located an approximate latitude and longitude for each of the locations mentioned in the cables.

We wish to emphasize that the locations in our mashup are only for the cities in which these critical facilities are located, and not the actual facilities themselves. In some cases, the location in the map is no more detailed than the country. Given this relative inaccuracy, this map does not present any security threat whatsoever. Moreover, all the data sets used for this geo-coding are openly available on the Internet and could easily be replicated by anyone.

Our purpose is to visualize the patterns exhibited by this particular data set, which are illustrated below. The categories in the legend are our own classifications based on the information provided by Wikileaks (you can view a larger, non-embedded version of our mashup here, or download a KMZ file of the mashup here that should automatically load into Google Earth. The KMZ version also allows you to turn on and off categories as you wish).

Map Legend

It is interesting to note that the vast majority of these facilities are not directly military-related. Even the ones that we mark as 'military' are related industrial facilities rather than actual bases. Instead, the list seems to focus on non-military topics such as telecommunications, energy and pharmaceuticals. Much of the list is also focused on supplies of important raw materials (Bauxite, Chromite, and Rare Earth Minerals), as well as the ability to move products through ports and shipping channels.

Share of Facilities by Type
Telecommunications 28%
Energy 18%
Pharmaceuticals 13%
Border_Crossing 11%
Raw_Material 10%
Port 7%
Military 5%
Industrial 4%
Shipping 3%
Dam 2%

These data offer a fascinating insight into the ways that the national security priorities of the United States span the entire globe. This global web of essential facilities goes a long way to explain the fact that the US Department of Defense has more military facilities around the world than all other nations combined. The globalization of the world economy means that facilities that are vital to the communication, health, and economic needs of the U.S. are scattered across the planet; and this ultimately means that the U.S. (as well as other developed and developing countries) have to contend with new and changing notions of what "security" means in the 21st century.

We are truly living in a network society.

See also:
A choropleth map depicting the number of facilities in each country, made by some folks at University College London.

A map of all the Wikileaks cables.

And, a user-generated effort to plot the cables.

The Power of Google Maps

Hardly a week goes by without there being some flare up about how a disputed border represented in Google Maps leads to real world consequences. Whether it was the Chinese labelling of place names in Arunachal Pradesh, or the recent confrontation over a mis-drawn border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica leading to an 'invasion', Google Maps has found itself at the center of some touchy geopolitical disputes.

We're not the first ones to mention these disputes. Indeed, we rarely (and belatedly), if ever, comment on them. But because of the persistence of news stories on this topic, we're compelled to comment on the broader implications of what John Gravois, in his interesting Washington Monthly piece 'The Agnostic Cartographer', points to as the problem of Google's attempts at ambivalence when such disputes arise. The official Google policy is to avoid culpability in such disputes by relying on previous international conventions and providing multiple representations of places in order to placate both sides of a potential conflict. But what do these attempts at neutrality accomplish?

Ultimately, Google's ambivalence serves to further obfuscate, and reinforce, the power of their maps. As J.B. Harley so astutely pointed out over twenty years ago, "Much of the power of the map, as a representation of social geography, is that it operates behind a mask of a seemingly neutral science. It hides and denies its social dimensions at the same time as it legitimates" (Harley 1989: 7). So by attempting to withdraw from "some of the world's touchiest geopolitical disputes", Google is at once depoliticizing and further extending the influence of their maps, as Gravois points out in his article. But, as Harley asserts, "the map is never neutral" (14) -- so why attempt to make it seem that way?

The point being, just because Google Maps are produced and used somewhat differently than the hand-drawn maps of old, does not somehow mean that the nature of the map is fundamentally different and that the corpus of theory built up around critical cartography is no longer relevant. Indeed, the same ideas apply quite nicely to both traditional, expert-oriented cartography and what has become known as 'neogeography' or 'volunteered geographic information'.

These issues and ideas seem to have been lost in all of the popular debate about Google and geopolitics, even in excellent summaries such as Gravois'. Maps, in whatever form they may take, remain important reflections of the world, albeit reflections of a particular, limited worldview and set of interests (in the case of Google, the interest in minimizing conflict and maximizing profits) that should not be ignored. At the same time, however, maps also have a powerful role in shaping the world in which we live; a role that arguably should not be left to giant corporations or powerful governments.

Further reading:
  • Crampton, Jeremy and John Krygier. 2005. "An Introduction to Critical Cartography". ACME: An International e-Journal for Critical Geographies 4(1):11-33.
  • Harley, J.B. 1989. "Deconstructing the map". Cartographica 26(2):1-20.
  • Wood, Denis. 1992. The Power of Maps. The Guilford Press.

December 03, 2010

The Search for Santa, 2010

Building upon our discovery of Santa in Los Angeles last year we are embarking on a similar search this month. The goal this year is to compare the distribution of Christmas related characters within the greater European context (Iceland to Azerbaijan on the West-East axis; Norway to Morocco on the North-South axis). While this clearly captures historical European Christendom it also crosses over into territories in which Islamic, Jewish and other religious traditions dominate.

The goal is to map the cultural diffusion of Santa in general and the local variants. For example, the results for the Basque tradition of Olentzero is already producing some really interesting geographies. We hope it will also be a means by which to show linguistic differences as well, e.g., variations on Ded Moroz in Cyrillic languages.

Were conducting searches on the list of names below...mostly variations on Santa Claus but with a few other characters as well (e.g., Krampus and Zwarte Piet). We've no doubt missed some. We started with the wiki list although made some changes. Please take a look at the list below and make suggestions/corrections and we'll add them to the search.

Also, if anyone has other suggestions for similar types of searches on non-Western (particularly Chinese) cultural icons please let us know.
  • Names in English (Kris Kringle)
  • Names in English (Saint Nicholas)
  • Names in English (Santa Claus)
  • Names in English (Father Christmas)
  • Albania (Babadimri )
  • Albania (Babagjyshi i Krishtlindjeve )
  • Arabic (بابا نويل)
  • Aragon and Catalonia (Reis Mags )
  • Aragon and Catalonia (Tió de Nadal)
  • Aragon and Catalonia (Tronca de Navidad)
  • Armenia (Ձմեռ Պապիկ )
  • Azerbaijan (Şaxta baba)
  • Basque (Olentzero)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Djeda Mraz )
  • Bulgaria (Дядо Коледа )
  • Croatia (Djed Božičnjak )
  • Croatia (Djed Mraz )
  • Czech Republic (Ježíšek )
  • Czech Republic (Svatý Mikuláš )
  • Denmark (Julemanden)
  • Estonia (Jõuluvana)
  • Estonia (päkapikk)
  • Finland (Joulupukki)
  • France (Père Noël)
  • Georgia (თოვლის ბაბუა )
  • Germany (Sankt Nikolaus)
  • Germany (Weihnachtsmann )
  • Germany, Austria, Switzerland & Liechtenstein (Christkind)
  • Germany-Austria (Krampus)
  • Greece_Cyprus (Άγιος Βασίλης )
  • Hungary (Jézuska)
  • Hungary (Kis Jézus )
  • Hungary (Télapó )
  • Iceland (jólasveinarnir )
  • Iceland (Jólasveinn )
  • Ireland (Daidí na Nollaig)
  • Ireland (Santa Claus)
  • Ireland (Santy)
  • Italy (La Befana )
  • Italy & Switzerland (Babbo Natale)
  • Latvia (Ziemassvētku vecītis )
  • Lebanon (Papa Noel)
  • Lithuania (Kalėdų Senelis )
  • Lithuania (Senis Šaltis )
  • Luxembourg (Hoseker)
  • Luxembourg (Kleeschen)
  • Macedonia (Дедо Мраз )
  • Netherlands & Flanders (Kerstman )
  • Netherlands & Flanders (Sint Niklaas)
  • Netherlands & Flanders (Sinterklaas)
  • Netherlands & Flanders (Zwarte Piet)
  • Norway (Julenissen)
  • Poland (Gwiazdor )
  • Poland (Święty Mikołaj )
  • Portugal (Pai Natal)
  • Portgual (more Brazilian?) (Papai Noel )
  • Romania, Moldova (Moș Crăciun )
  • Romania, Moldova (Moș Gerilă )
  • Romania, Moldova (Moș Nicolae )
  • Russia (Ded Moroz)
  • Russia (Дед Мороз )
  • Serbia (Božić Bata )
  • Serbia (Deda Mraz )
  • Serbia (Божић Бата )
  • Serbia (Дедa Мрaз )
  • Spain (Papá Noel)
  • Spain (Reyes Magos )
  • Sweden (Jultomten)
  • Switzerland (Père Noël)
  • Turkey (Noel Baba )
  • Turkmenistan (Aýaz baba )
  • Ukraine (Did Moroz)
  • Ukraine (Svyatyy Mykolay)
  • Ukraine (Дід Мороз)
  • United Kingdom (Father Christmas)