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Why Does Santa Claus Say Ho-Ho-Ho?

20/12/16

Well, if you catch him, that's a very awkward moment. Because you can only catch him while he is putting presents under your Christmas tree. A new bike perhaps...

After a moment of confusion you'll hear these three words, nothing else, and then he will disappear.

And these 3 words are......

Why Santa Claus says Ho Ho Ho

Why ho-ho-ho? What does it even mean? And where does it come from? Is he laughing?

Here are 5 Ho-Ho-Ho facts you have to know this Christmas:

1. Ho-Ho-Ho is how Santa laughs

Just a way of expressing his happiness and joy.

Let's see how it would sound if he laughed differently:

  • If he went around saying "ha ha ha," people would think he was laughing at them.
  • If he said "har har har," people would think he was a pirate.
  • If he said "hoo hoo hoo," people would think he was an owl.
  • If he said "ni ni ni", then he would definitely be in the wrong movie.

But there is a deeper meaning to Ho-Ho-Ho. Literally deeper.

It's a deep chuckling sound that comes from the belly. And Santa is a guy with a large belly, so this was considered the most appropriate jolly laughter onomatopoeia (which is a name for words that sound like the thing they mean) to choose for him.

Really, Santa Claus is just a jolly old guy :)

2. Canada Post uses the characters HO-HO-HO as the postal code for letters to be sent to Santa Claus

The full address is:
SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE
H0H 0H0
CANADA

In French, Santa's name translates to Father Christmas, addressed as:
PÈRE NOËL
PÔLE NORD
H0H 0H0
CANADA

Since the postal code system has 'H0' set up to represent a tiny or rural village ('0') inside of the city of Montreal or Laval ('H'), H0 codes are quite rare, and a seasonal allocation of H0H does not conflict with any other normal postal codes.

3. In Australia Santas have been asked NOT to Ho-Ho-Ho, but say Ha-Ha-Ha instead

Because saying "ho-ho-ho" could frighten children and could even be derogatory to women. Really, Australia, really? And we just established that saying "ha ha ha" would sound like he is laughing AT you.

Nope, we don't want that. Dear Australia, "ho ho ho" is fine.

4. Santa Claus is not the only character that says Ho-Ho-Ho

Jolly Green Giant
The Green Giant character comes from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. His first advertising appearance was in 1928, and he looked like a cave man carrying a very large pea pod.

Jabba the Hutt
This character appears in George Lucas's space opera film saga Star Wars. This large, slug-like alien is the head of the largest criminal empire on the planet of Tatooine – not a nice guy at all. A famous bad guy in the Star Wars universe, actually.

King Harkinian
The rather jolly sovereign ruler of Hyrule, is the father of Princess Zelda. If you are a Zelda geek, you'll remember him from the early animated series and comics, as well as the Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon video games. If you're not a Zelda geek – well, now you know a bit about her father.

5. If this Christmas Santa puts a brand new bike for you under the tree and you interrupt him, a Ho-Ho-Ho will be exactly what he says

I hope you hear Santa saying Ho-Ho-Ho this Christmas :) And if you are lucky, maybe your new bike will be wrapped in a Velosock.

But at the end of the day all that matters is the good old Christmas spirit of love, generosity and kindness.  The spirit of giving without thinking about getting. Happiness in seeing joy in people.

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Velosock Christmas