A belated Christmas present from Japan’s idols and models.

Japan may celebrate Christmas with presents and decorations like they do in other countries, but it’s also got a few traditions of its own, like eating fried chicken and strawberry shortcake. One of the biggest differences, though, is that in Japan Christmas Eve is the biggest date night of the year.

While it’s nice for lovers to have one more day to make kissy faces with one another, that can make Christmas Eve a little lonely for single guys…unless, that is, they indulge in another of Japan’s unique ways to spend the holiday: Santacos.

A combination of “Santa” and “cosplay,” Santacos eschews the ideal of source-material accuracy that typifies cosplay based on anime and video game characters. So instead of elderly Rubenesque men with snowy hair and thick beards, the majority of Santacos participants are female models and idols sharing photos online to mark the yuletide season.

Since the goal isn’t so much to look like Santa as it is to wear something with a bit of Santa fashion influence, there’s actually a lot of opportunity for variation in Santacos outfits, such as adding hoods…

…rabbit ears…

…or hoods with rabbit ears.


Here we see a Santacos in which the model has added a jaunty cape, and also traded in Santa’s eight-reindeerpower sleigh for the 300-plus horses of a Subaru WRX STI.

And while most Santacos outfits make use of the orthodox red-and-white color scheme, as long as they’re sufficiently faux-fur lined and velvety, other hues are OK too.

▼ Another example of car-related Santacos


▼ These baggy substitutes for Santa’s boots seem to be paying homage to the “loose socks” trend that swept Japan in the late ‘90s.


In the past, Santacos was more commonly known as “minisukasanta,” from “miniskirt Santa.” With the increasing popularity of cosplay, though, Santacos seems to have overtaken it as the preferred term, as many models go for a mix of cuteness and sexiness in their photos.


Of course, short hemlines on Santa outfits remain perennially popular, as evidenced from the crowd reaction to K-pop idol group Blackpink’s Santacos at this concert in Japan.

That wraps things up, but remember, if you promise to be very good all year long, Santacos will come again next Christmas.

Featured image: Twitter/@wooper8looper

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he maintains that the bug-eyed WRX is the best-looking WRX.