Santa Traditions Around the World

Kaiya Freelon

With Christmas being a holiday that is celebrated in almost every country, the tradition of waking up on December 25th to exchange and open gifts is something well known. The lead up to the holiday and the traditions that come with it are where the differences can be seen.

United States

In the U.S. it’s common to leave cookies for Santa the night before Christmas. This trend can be traced back to the times of the Great Depression. It’s said that this tradition came to be due to  parents wanting to teach their kids the importance of showing gratitude for the gifts they received during the holiday.


Just like in many other countries, children in Japan send a lot of letters to Santa. So much so that in 2020 an overseas courier service called ANA Group loaded 800,000 letters addressed to Santa on a plane. But Santa isn’t the only person kids can expect to receive gifts from. Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, is known as a protector of kids and is known to carry a sack full of objects for the kids on Christmas day as well.


Because Christmas is celebrated during the summer in Brazil, there are some people who believe that instead of Santa’s well known warming outfit, he wears silk to combat the heat. As far as traditions go, children also leave a sock near the window, and if Santa, usually referred to as Papai Noel, finds it, he exchanges it for a gift.


These are just a few of the Santa traditions celebrated around the world. With all the different culture across the globe, it’s nice to see the various ways Kris Kringle and the holiday of Christmas is diversely celebrated.