Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply "Santa", is a fantasy figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24.
In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry or beer, and mince pies instead. In Sweden and Norway, children leave rice porridge. In Ireland it is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies.
During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, the figure of Santa Claus may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
The tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney is shared by many European seasonal gift-givers. In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fireholes on the solstice.
In Hungary, St. Nicolaus comes on the night of December 5 and children get their gifts the next morning. They get sweets in a bag if they were good, and a golden colored birch switch if not.
On Christmas Eve "Little Jesus" himself comes and gives gifts for everyone…