The legend of Santa Claus originated from the Dutch figure Sinterklaas, whose name translates roughly to Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, the figure might have absorbed some qualities of the Norse god Odin, who was associated with the pagan event of Yule.
Santa Claus is also known as Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and simply as Santa. He is depicted as a large, portly man with white hair, glasses and a red suit. He also typically is depicted with an overly jolly disposition. There is some discrepancy regarding the presence of facial hair, as he is depicted both with and without a large, white beard.