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originally posted by: EartOccupant
Actually the Americans had it copied wrong again....
Originally the name comes from the Dutch "Sinterklaas"
That is a different person and fest we celebrate on 5 december.
The name merged into Santa Claus... and of course they shifted the date as well.
When the Dutch colonists traveled to America, they brought with them their traditions of Sinterklaas (meaning St. Nicholas), an austere bishop who wore a red bishop's costume and rode on a white horse. In their excitement, many English-speaking children said the name so quickly that Sinterklaas sounded like Santy Claus. After years of mispronunciation, the Dutch words for Saint Nicholas, evolved into Santa Claus.
Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santy, or simply Santa, is a gift-giving figure in various cultures who distributes presents to children, traditionally on December 24, Christmas Eve. The popular American form Santa Claus originated as a mispronunciation of Dutch Sinterklaas, which is a contracted form of Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas).
Father Christmas is the traditional British name for a figure associated with Christmas, a forerunner of Santa Claus. The term is also used in many English-speaking countries outside Britain. A similar figure with the same name (in other languages) exists in several other countries, including Canada and France (Père Noël), Spain (Papá Noel, Padre Noel), almost all Hispanic South America (Papá Noel), Brazil (Papai Noel), Portugal (Pai Natal), Italy (Babbo Natale), Ireland (Daidí na Nollag), Armenia (Dzmer Papik), India (Christmas Father), Andorra (Pare Noel), Romania (Moş Crăciun) Turkey (Noel Baba), Hungary (Télapó) and Bulgaria (Dyado Koleda, Grandfather Christmas).