He might be famous for his bright red suit, but should Santa want a change of style this festive season, then there's a group of people just waiting to kit him out with a brand new look.
The Clan Claus Society was set up in 2008 with the aim of "preserving and perpetuating the history, ideals, traditions, family values and heritage of the Scottish Santa Claus persona." Its basic mission is to bring together the traditions of Scotland and the magic of Christmas in a family-friendly atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all. As part of this, the Society has designed a special tartan for Santa Claus and his extended family to wear.
When setting up the Clan Claus society, its members were surprised to find that Santa didn't already have a tartan, as they had seen images of a Scottish Santa wearing a kilt, and even playing the bagpipes. To rectify this they set up a competition between members to design a plaid. The winning tartan was chosen and was subsequently registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority (No. 7869). The tartan is called Claus of the North Pole.
The Claus of the North Pole tartan uses four colours - red, green, yellow and white. The red represents the traditional colour for Santa, and the green the evergreen holly and mistletoe that signifies Christmas traditions. The three bands of yellow represent the three bags of gold that St. Nicholas gave the three daughters of the merchant, and the two bands of white are for purity, and the snow and ice of the North Pole.
Tartan is a true symbol of Scotland, and one which is rich in tradition, symbolising clan and family descent. Previously, designing a new tartan meant using the skills of an expert, who would charge a considerable fee, but now tartans can be designed by anyone using an online tartan designer. The tartan can then be woven into fabric and used for garments, such as kilts, trews, skirts and accessories.