Lonely Planet Writer

In pictures: armies of Santa Clauses take over cities around the world

Last weekend saw an array of seasonal events taking place in cities all over the world, with thousands of Santa Clauses getting into the festive spirit in places such as London, New York, Prague, Beijing, Brisbane, Helsinki, Vancouver and Glasgow. One man dressed as Kris Kringle was even spotted catching some sick waves as he surfed in California.

Santa Dash Glasgow
A woman runs during the Santa Dash in Glasgow. Image by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
SantaCon
People take part in SantaCon outside The Flatiron Building in New York. Image by Kena Betancur/Getty Images
surfing santa
Surfing Santa Michael Pless riding a wave at Seal Beach, California. Image by Frederic J.Brown/Getty Images

December tenth saw nearly 60 SantaCon events taking place in different cities, with large groups of men and women dressing up in full Santa costumes in each location. Started in San Francisco in 1994, SantaCon has evolved into a global phenomenon that sees independent groups organising their own outings each year. The free to attend events often see groups heading to their favourite bars and pubs in each city, while following guidelines of conduct to ensure that no Santa is spotted taking part in behaviour unbecoming of an elder elf. Traditionally, SantaCon events see anyone dressed as green elves being subjected to light-hearted abuse and heckling.

Santa Dash Glasgow
Thousands of members of the public took part in the Santa Dash in Glasgow to raise money for charity. Image by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
SantaCon
Santa cycles a mini bicycle as he takes part in SantaCon in London, England. Image by Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Crowds gather to take part in SantaCon in New York City.
Crowds gather to take part in SantaCon in New York City. Image by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

As well as the SantaCon events, over seven thousand members of the public dressed up as old Saint Nick for the Santa Dash in Glasgow, taking part in a five-kilometre run that raised thousands of pounds for charities in the city.

A furry Santa takes part in the Glasgow Santa Dash.
A furry Santa takes part in the Glasgow Santa Dash. Image by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Crowds gathered for SantaCon 2016 in London.
Crowds gathered for SantaCon 2016 in London. Image by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

And finally, Saturday saw surfing enthusiast Michael Pless riding some waves at Seal Beach, California while dressed in a full Santa Suit. The event has become a tradition for the surf instructor, who has donned the outfit every December since 1990, much to the delight of his students.