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Photos: What Santa does on his day off

You may know him as Santa Claus, but he answers to many different names. There’s Father Christmas in Great Britain, Père Noël in France, Grandfather Frost in Russia, and, Babbo Natale in Italy.

From paddling the Venice canals to racing down the streets of Madrid, we explore in these photos below how various countries and cultures recognize — and embrace — the jolly old man with the white beard.

A young boy waves to French diver Pierre Frolla, a four-time apnea diving world champion, dressed as a Santa Claus as he swims with fish in an aquarium of the Oceanic Museum of Monaco December 11, 2015 . Photo by: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

A young boy waves to French diver Pierre Frolla, a four-time apnea diving world champion, dressed as a Santa Claus as he swims with fish in an aquarium of the Oceanic Museum of Monaco December 11, 2015 . The dive was a part of the Noël au Musee celebrations, or Christmas at the Museum. Photo by Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Thousands of runners dressed in Santa Claus outfits compete in the annual Carrera de Papa Noel (Santa Claus Run), in Madrid,Spain, December 12, 2015. Photo by: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

Thousands of runners dressed in Santa Claus outfits compete in the annual Carrera de Papa Noel (Santa Claus Run), in Madrid,Spain, December 12, 2015. Photo by Javier Barbancho/Reuters

People dressed as Santa Claus row boats on Venice's Grand Canal, in northern Italy, December 20, 2015. Photo by: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

People dressed as Santa Claus row boats on Venice’s Grand Canal, in northern Italy, December 20, 2015. The Christmas Regatta, an event organised by University of Ca Foscar, is in its sixth year. Photo by Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

Israeli-Arab Issa Kassissieh wears a Santa Claus costume as he carries a Christmas tree into his house during an annual Christmas tree distribution by the Jerusalem municipality in Jerusalem's Old City December 21, 2015.  Photo by Ammar  Awad/Reuters

Israeli-Arab Issa Kassissieh wears a Santa Claus costume as he carries a Christmas tree into his house during an annual Christmas tree distribution by the Jerusalem municipality in Jerusalem’s Old City Dec. 21, 2015. Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters

People dressed as Santa Claus throw their hats in the air during a Christmas charity event in central Seoul Dec. 24, 2015. Photo byKim Hong-Ji/Reuters

People dressed as Santa Claus throw their hats in the air during a Christmas charity event in central Seoul Dec. 24, 2015. Photo byKim Hong-Ji/Reuters

A member of the Langland Board Surfers group takes part in a Surfing Santa competition at Langland Bay in Gower, Wales, December 19, 2015. Photo by: Rebecca Naden/Reuters

A member of the Langland Board Surfers group takes part in a Surfing Santa competition at Langland Bay in Gower, Wales, Dec. 19, 2015. Photo by Rebecca Naden/Reuters

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