Papai Noel

Title: Papai Noel

General Information about Item:

  • Customary Folklore: Legend
  • Portuguese
  • Brazil

Informant Data:

  • Raiany Romanni is a TA for the Slavic Folklore course at Dartmouth. She is from Brazil.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: Almost everyone who celebrates Christmas has a Christmas story that they believe in. These are typically told to children around the holiday times in order to create a festive mood and make everyone excited for Christmas. As the kids grow up, they begin to lose their belief in these legends because they start to realize that there parents were the source of the gifts.       However these legends remain a large source of the classic Christmas symbols and festive decorations for all ages even though the legends are no longer believed to be true.
  • Cultural Context: The “Father Christmas” figure varies greatly between different cultures – changing primarily due to religious and geographical differences. In the United States it is typically Santa, though people from other cultures who have parents from other cultures may also believe in a different legend.


  • Her Christmas legend is stolen from the French “Pere Noel” and is Papai Noel. In Brazil they also decorate with snowflakes all over even though there is no snow. There is also a tradition of having large extended family gatherings (greater than 50 people)

Collector’s Comments:

  • This is another version of the Christmas figure and shows how the cultural traditions begin to change as you look at different counties.

Collector’s Name: Alec Vaules


  • Christmas, Papai Noel, Tradition, Legend


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