Santa Claus in Eastern Europe has many names - and many countries in Eastern Europe are visited by more than one Santa Claus character. St. Nicholas visits some children on December 5th (St. Nicholas Eve) or December 6th (St. Nicholas Day). Grandfather Frost or Baby Jesus is usually responsible for bringing gifts on Christmas Eve. Some Santa Claus figures wait until New Year's Eve to visit children. Learn more about the names and traditions of Eastern Europe's Santa Clauses below.
Names for Russia's Santa:
- Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz - Grandfather Frost)
About the Russian Santa: Ded Moroz,or Grandfather Frost, is a stately older gentleman who is accompanied by a beautiful snow maiden named Snegurochka. They make their home in Russia's north, Veliky Ustyug.
Names for the Czech Santa:
- Svatý Mikuláš (Saint Nicholas)
- Ježíšek (Baby Jesus)
About the Czech Santa: Saint Nicholas visits children on St. Nicholas Eve, and actors take to the streets to pass out sweets. Baby Jesus, who lives in the Czech mountains, visits on Christmas Eve and magically decorates a tree and leaves gifts for children.
Names for Hungary's Santa:
- Mikulás (Nicholas)
- Télapó (Old Man Winter)
- Jézuska or Kis Jézus (Baby Jesus)
About Hungary's Santa: Mikulas is Hungary's answer to Saint Nicholas. Baby Jesus visits on Christmas Eve.
Names for Croatia's Santa Claus:
- Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas)
- Djed Mraz (Grandfather Frost)
- Djed Božičnjak (Grandfather Christmas)
About Croatia's Santa Claus: Sveti Nikola fills shoes with treats on St. Nicholas Eve. Djed Mraz is responsible for delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. Croatian children may also receive small gifts on St. Lucy's Day.
Names for Poland's Santa Claus:
- Święty Mikołaj (Saint Nicholas)
Poland's Mikulaj sometimes stands in on St. Nicholas Day and Christmas Eve. In some regions, Gwiazdor is responsile for bringing gitfts to children.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's Santa Claus
Names for Bosnia and Herzegovina's Santa Claus:
- Djeda Mraz (Grandfather Frost)
Bulgaria's Santa Claus
Names for Bulgaria's Santa Claus:
- Дядо Коледа (Dyado Koleda - Grandfather Christmas)
- Дядо Мраз (Dyado Mraz - Grandfather Frost)
Albania's Santa Claus
Names for Albania's Santa Claus:
- Babagjyshi i Krishtlindjeve (Grandfather Christmas)
- Babadimri (Grandfather Winter)
Lithuania's Santa Claus
Names for Lithuania's Santa Claus:
- Senis Šaltis (Old Man Frost)
- Kalėdų Senelis (Christmas Grandfather)
Macedonia's Santa Claus
Names for Macedonia's Santa Claus:
- Дедо Мраз (Dedo Mraz – Grandfather Frost)