German post office gets ready for Santa mania

24th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 November 2005, HIMMELPFORT, GERMANY - A post office in Germany that receives a quarter of a million "Dear Santa Claus" letters every year has stocked up with replies in Japanese this year as children round the world pen their Christmas requests.

24 November 2005

HIMMELPFORT, GERMANY - A post office in Germany that receives a quarter of a million "Dear Santa Claus" letters every year has stocked up with replies in Japanese this year as children round the world pen their Christmas requests.

While American children assume Santa's workshop is at the North Pole, German children traditionally address their Christmas wishes to Heaven's Gate, which is the literal meaning of Himmelpfort, the name of a small town 80 kilometres north of Berlin.

Santa's helpers in Himmelpfort post a friendly standard reply back to every child in their own language.

Post office spokeswoman Sylvia Blesing said the 12 languages of replies had been expanded this year to include Japanese, Dutch and Hungarian. Last year, the office wrote back to 250,000 children.

"16798 Himmelpfort" - Santa's full address with zip code - also responds in Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Brazilian children have written especially early this year, with 600 letters reaching Himmelpfort so far, along with thousands from Germany.

Mail company Deutsche Post also sent 100,000 free replies last year from six other towns with names that are similar to Heaven's Gate or that include "Saint Nicholas", the full name of Santa Claus.

DPA

Subject: German news

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