Top Ten Weirdest Alternatives to Santa Claus from Around the WorldWe all know the Stalker with red clothes and a white beard, but in many different nations, there are different people who visit your house. Seeing as I made this list on Christmas Eve Eve, it seems kind of fitting to go through the alternatives of various cultures.
Jul Nisse is a Scandinavian gnome who wears farmer clothing and a red hat. And unlike Santa Claus, Jul Nisse has a wife and a couple of kids. Scandinavians tend to decorate their homes with dolls of this gnome and his wife, as well as many kids. As many as you want, as there are no specifics regarding how many children Jul Nisse has. While Santa Claus gets cookies and milk, Jul Nisse gets...porridge with a chunk of butter in it. Sorry, but dude, that sounds gross. Gotta hand the better taste buds to Santa.
We usually call it "Tomten" here (which is the same name used for Santa as well here). I believe the name "Tomten" derives from "Tomt", which is the swedish word for backyard/lawn
Big disagreement on the "porridge with butter". This dish known as risengrod is delicious.
In Italy, kids get their presents from a witch who goes by that name. She apparently gave some advice to the three wise men and has been filled with the Christmas spirit since. She flies around on her broom, giving Italian children their gifts on Christmas. And if you thought Jul Nisse was weird, well, kids in Italy are supposed to leave her a glass of wine because she's an alcoholic.
No, this is not a troll item. In some predominantly Catholic nations, such as Spain or Mexico, the concept of Santa Claus is kind of considered a blasphemy, so they have Jesus Christ Himself giving kids their presents. I am sorry, but this is flawed logic. If He brought children gifts, technically speaking, the Second Coming would have happened long ago. And It's kind of blasphemous that He'd be held in high regard as the Savior...but also the Man who gives you a rifle, violent movies, and other things He'd never want you to touch.
The Three Wise Men are kind of the weird alternative to Jesus for Spain and Mexico. Much like the idea that Jesus would be the guy bringing kids their presents, the Three Wise Men as an alternative to Jesus and alternatives to Santa Claus is very flawed logic. Why do I say this? Because they were mortal men and died hundreds of years ago, so the idea that they'd still be hanging around in present-day...No, that just doesn't work for me.
This is cool man!
In fact, it is not really correct to call him "Russian Santa Claus". His image comes from ancient pagan beliefs. We don't celebrate Christmas in Russia, so he is the guy who brings gifts on New Year's Eve.
It is also necessary to mention his constant companion - Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), who is his granddaughter.
These two were the main fairytale characters during the New Year celebrations in the Soviet Union and today in Russia.
This is the demonic Santa basically.
Pronounced Joel-lew-poo-key, the Finnish equivalent to Santa, Joulupukki literally means "Christmas goat," although he started out more as a hybrid between a satyr and a scarecrow. Much like the rest of this list, this weird...thing came to good kids with gifts but was much more inhumane to kids than Santa. Jolupukki would actually beat bad kids. While modern Jolupukki looks more like Santa Claus, he's still kind of weird, because the Finnish have him living in Finland. He's even a tourist trap.
Christkind or Christkindl is actually the harbinger of gifts to many nations in most of Europe. Hungary, Switzerland, and Portugal, for instance, and originated as Martin Luther's alternative to Saint Nicholas. As the name may suggest, this is supposed to be the pre-incarnate Christ, although Christkind for some reason is often depicted as a blonde woman with gold wings.
Zwart Piet, which is translated to "Black Pete," is actually of Norse origin, and long story short had a couple of helpers who would listen through chimneys like Zwart Piet did and they would report the behavior of mortals to Odin, to let him know who was good and who was bad. Naturally, the fact that Zwart Piet is black became a problem in recent years.
Belsnickel is Germany's Santa Claus, and he's actually a crotchety man, dressed in crummy brown clothes. He makes children recite poems, prayers, and even math equations. Belsnickel rewards good children with candy and cakes and whips bad kiddos, but gives them a firm warning that they can change their ways before the arrival of Saint Nicholas. I don't know about you, but I'd just disregard this guy and wait for Saint Nicholas. Child abuse= bad.
Yes, Odin and Jesus alike are considered alternatives to Santa Claus. We know that he was the chief god in Norse Mythology. Apparently, on the night of the Winter Solstice, Yule, Odin would ride through the sky on his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, and Odin would judge the good and evil, and leave gifts for good children in their shoes. Sound familiar to anybody?