(Reuters) - With just five months until Christmas, Santas from around the world are gathering in Copenhagen for a mid-season break at the annual World Santa Claus Congress.
The annual conference gives them a chance to network, meet the public and get into shape for the busy days in December.
This year 140 Santas from 12 countries gathered in the Danish capital for the three-day event.
Santa Cherry from Canada, who is taking part for the fifth time, said there was much more to being a Santa than just the clothes.
“A successful Santa is not just about the costumes and the clothes. You have to have Christmas in your heart. You have to have the love of children and caring and giving in your hear to be a really successful Santa and it’s not something you can make up. It has to be in you and people know, they can see it,” she said.
The World Santa Claus Congress has taken place at the Bakken amusement park near Copenhagen since 1957 and always in the summer which is Santa’s off season.
“I think the congress was started as a way of bringing Santas from all over the world together and sharing ideas and sharing our love of Christmas and being Santa and it’s just joyous. It’s great to be here,” said Santa Ian from London in the United Kingdom.
During the congress they have the opportunity to discuss important issues concerning their trade, such as presents and weight regulations for Santa Clauses. One of the most hotly contested topics is the date for Christmas Eve.
For Santa Allan from Denmark, there is only one correct date.
“I think the main question will be when is it Christmas Eve. Because everyone is talking about have you decided when that Christmas Eve will be or are you disagreeing like you used to? But the Danish guild is saying we have to have Christmas Eve on December 24th,” he said.
The most important part of the meeting is for the professional Santas to meet the public. Apart from parades there is also some sightseeing, a foot bath in the sea, Christmas cake baking and storytelling for the children. On Wednesday (July 20), Santas had to complete an obstacle course.