The name of the Armenian Santa Claus is Kaghand Pap. Many generations of Armenians know him, but not everyone is familiar with its history.
During the New Year holidays, Armenian children are used to seeing Russian Ded Moroz and overseas Santa Claus who has become the face of an ad campaign for a popular drink around the world. But many forget that the domestic Kaghand Pap still exists.
According to experts, the word “kaghand” (Կաղանդ) derives from either Latin or Italian “caland”, which means “calendar”. It is known that Kaghand Pap was the custodian of time and announced the upcoming holidays.
The distinguishing feature of Kaghand Pap is that he, visiting children and adults, brings seven tips instead of gifts – tips on mutual respect, peace, honesty, wisdom, hard work, modesty, and contentment.
In 2008, Armenia decided to recreate the forgotten character. A year later, the modern fairy tale “Kaghand Pap. Return from Rigel” was published. The tale tells the story of the Armenian Amanor (Ամանոր), Kaghand Pap, the twelve khlvliks accompanying him, their mental characters, and their Aralez doubles which give them strength.
Thanks to the faith and hope of a little girl, the small sparkling pebble that had been handed down from generation to generation caused Kaghand Pap to return to Earth from the distant star Rigel. He brought to the Armenians seven treasured tips which had crystallized relations in the human society and the relationship of man with nature for centuries.