Who Brings Christmas Presents in Latin America?

Who Brings Christmas Presents in Latin America?


Christmas is that time of the year most people get excited about. Some people get happy some people get nostalgic. For children (and adults) it is a time to look forward to because of the Christmas lights, decorations and let’s not lie: the presents.

Although it is obvious it is not our friends or family who brings us the presents, (we all know that), it is not always Santa Claus the delegated one to accomplish this exhausting task of delivering billions of presents all over the world.


Christmas in Latin America

Most Latin American families (and also in Spain), celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th of December, and extend the celebration until wee hours on the 25th. In general, the 25th is a day of rest.


Who Brings Christmas Presents in Latin America?


Presents are given to the children on the eve of the 24th. This night is called Nochebuena, which is another word for Christmas Eve. This eve consists of a traditional family dinner and marks the end of the Posadas or Novenas (During nine nights before the 24th, Catholic families get together to read and sing around a nativity scene,about the pilgrimage to Bethlehem by Mary and Joseph in search of a room.)

Who Brings the Presents?

Besides Santa Claus, other characters bring the Christmas presents. In most Latin American countries these characters are:


Niño Jesús / Niño Dios.

Baby Jesus is the one in charge of delivering the presents on the night of the 24th in most Latin American countries, including Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia.


Los Reyes Magos.

The Wise Men. In Spanish, they are not wise nor men. They are magi and they are kings. Since they brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus, it makes sense that in countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Spain, they are the ones in charge of bringing presents to children every January 6th. Why this date? Because in the Catholic world, it is the day of the Epiphany, or when they celebrate the baptism of Christ.


Viejito Pascuero.

This is another name for Santa Claus that you will only hear if you visit Chile. In this country, they call Navidad, Pascua. and since Santa Claus is an elder person, they use the word “Viejito” as a term of endearment.


Papá Noel.

Just if you were wondering, the name of Santa Claus in Spanish is Papa Noel.

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