Pere Noel was the bearer of "luxuries" for French peasants in the Middle Ages. His gifts were left in wooden shoes set out by the children.
From the Spirits of Giving Around the World Exhibit at PPG Place, Pittsburgh, PA
Photo ©2000 by Albrecht & Kimberly Powell
Pere Noel, the French equivalent of the American Santa Claus, appears in a long red hooded robe edged with white fur. He carries gifts for the children of France in a basket or hote on his back. His mean-spirited alter-ego, Pere Fouchette, left only switches for bad boys and girls.