Joulupukki is another Santa like figure, except for the fact that he predates the Santa Clause character significantly. He is of Finnish origin, and the name translates roughly to Yule Goat or Christmas Goat. The roots are of pagan origin. The Joulupukki character dons the red coat and leather pants, and often accompanied Thor on the Wild Hunt which kicked off the Winter Solstice, practiced by the Norsemen. Some also celebrate him as a man that turns into a half man, half goat on Christmas Eve.
The resident for Joulupukki is Korvatunturi, which is in a fell in Lapland. He knocks on the front door on Christmas Eve and asks the home owners if there are any well behaved children in the house. He is said to be married. He also has elf-like helpers in his workshop, that dress pretty close to the same as him. In some cultural belief sets, he is an ugly goat like creature that frightens children.
Because of his appearance, and the adoption of many pagan beliefs into Christianity to help convert non-believers, it is believed that he was merged with the St. Nicholas character to form Santa Clause. In many areas, St. Nicholas and another gift giver co-exist. This happens mostly in Catholic countries. Otherwise, it is believed that St. Nicholas and Joulupukki combined to form modern day Santa Clause.
Ideas you want to see on our site?
Sign up for our email list for site and store updates!