The legendary figure of Santa Claus is well recognized all over the world. The story around this character was inspired by the Christian Bishop Saint Nicholas from the 4th century that lived in Lycia (Turkey today). Legends said that he was recognized for his generosity as a secret gift-giver, putting coins in the shoes or socks of children in need.
In Latin America the Christmas tradition is also celebrated and kids receive their gifts on December 25th…but from whom? Well, that depends on the country. Here are four names in Spanish for Santa Claus:
Papá Noel is used in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Paraguay, Perú and Uruguay. San Nicolás for Honduras and Venezuela. In Chile is Viejito Pascuero and in Costa Rica Colacho.
In most of the Latin American countries you can get along with Santa Claus, but the pronunciation is Santa Clós or Santa Cló. There are other countries, such as Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, where it is simplified even more using only the name Santa.
But that’s not all. In Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela, among others, the figure of the Baby Jesus also occupies the place as the gift-giver on Christmas. That is why in those countries you might also hear Niño Dios, Niñito Dios or Niño Jesús.
Infographic: 4 Names in Spanish for SANTA CLAUS
Check out these other English Spanish articles.