Saint Nicholas is the Man Behind the story of Santa Claus he was a Bishop and lived within the fourth century during a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a real man of means because his parents died when he was young and left him tons of cash. He was also a really kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people that needed it. There are several legends about St. Nicholas, although we do not know if any of them are true!
The most famous story about St. Nicholas tells how the custom of hanging up stockings to place presents in first started! It goes like this:
There was a pauper who had three daughters. the person was so poor that he didn’t have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn’t marry. (A dowry may be a sum of cash paid to the bridegroom by the bride’s parents on the marriage day. This still happens in some countries, even today.) One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then ready to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the hearth to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to get the one that had given him the cash, the daddy secretly hid by the hearth every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping during a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the person to not tell anyone what he had done because he didn’t want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it had been thought that perhaps it had been from Nicholas.
Because of his kindness, Nicholas was made a Saint. St. Nicholas isn’t only the saint of youngsters but also of sailors! One story tells of him helping some sailors that were caught during a dreadful storm off the coast of Turkey. The storm was raging around them and every one the lads were terrified that their ship would sink beneath the enormous waves. They prayed to St. Nicholas to assist them. Suddenly, he was standing on the deck before them. He ordered the ocean to be calm, the storm died away, and that they were ready to sail their ship safely to port.
St. Nicholas was exiled from Myra and later put in prison during the persecution by Emperor Diocletian. nobody basically knows when he died, but it had been on 6th December in either 345 or 352. In 1087, his bones were stolen from Turkey by some Italian merchant sailors. The bones are now kept within the Church named after him within the Italian port of Bari. On St. Nicholas fete day (6th December), the sailors of Bari still carry his statue from the Cathedral bent sea, in order that he can bless the waters then give them safe voyages throughout the year.
in 1066, before he set sail to England, William the Conqueror prayed to St. Nicholas asking that his conquest would go well.
How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
In the 16th Century in northern Europe, after the reformation, the stories and traditions about St. Nicholas became unpopular.
But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so within the UK, particularly in England, he became ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Old Man Christmas’, an old character from stories plays during the center ages within the UK and parts of northern Europe. In France, he was then referred to as Pere Noel.
In some countries including parts of Austria and Germany, the present giver became the ‘Christkind’ a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the newborn baby Jesus.
In the early USA, his name was ‘Kris Kringle’ (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers within the USA took the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle and St Nicholas became ‘Sinterklaas’ or as we now say ‘Santa Claus’!
Many countries, especially ones in Europe, celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day on 6th December. within the Netherlands and a few other European Countries, children leave clogs or shoes out on the 5th December (St. Nicholas Eve) to be crammed with presents. They also believe that if they leave some hay and carrots in their shoes for Sinterklaas’s horse, they’re going to be left some sweets.
St. Nicholas became popular again within the Victorian era when writers, poets, and artists rediscovered the old stories.
In 1823 the famous poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ or ‘T’was the Night before Christmas’, was published. Dr. Clement Clarke Moore later claimed that he had written it for his children. (Some scholars now believe that it had been actually written by Henry Livingston, Jr., who was a foreign relative of Dr. Moore’s wife.) The poem describes St. Nicholas with eight reindeer and provides them their names. They became rather well known within the song ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’, written in 1949. does one know all eight names? Click on Rudolph’s nose to seek out out!
Click my nose to seek out out more about my friends!
Cartoon drawing of Santa Claus
Did you recognize that Rudolph and Santa’s other reindeers might rather be all girls!? Only female reindeer keep their antlers throughout winter. By Christmas time most males have discarded their antlers and are saving their energy able to grow a replacement pair within the spring.
The UK Santa Claus and therefore the American Santa Claus became more and more alike over the years and are now one and therefore the same.
Some people say that Santa lives at the North Pole. In Finland, they assert that he lives within the north a part of their country called Lapland.
But everyone agrees that he travels through the sky on a sled that’s pulled by reindeer, that he comes into houses down the chimney in the dark and places presents for the youngsters in socks or bags by their beds, ahead of the family Christmas tree, or by the hearth place.
A fireplace with a dangling stockings
Most children receive their presents on Christmas Eve night or early Christmas morning, but in some countries, they get their presents on St. Nicholas’ Eve, December 5th.
St. Nicholas putting the bag of gold into a stocking is perhaps where the custom of getting a tangerine or satsuma at rock bottom of your Christmas stocking came from. If people couldn’t afford gold, some golden fruit was an honest replacement – and until the last 50 years, these were quite unusual fruits then still special!
The biggest Christmas stocking was 51m 35cm (168ft 5.65in) long and 21m 63cm (70ft 11.57in) wide (from the heel to the toe). it had been made the volunteer emergency services organization Pubblica Assistenza Carrara e Sezioni (Italy) in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy, on 5th January 2011. Just think what percentage presents you’ll slot in that!
Santa Claus and Coca-Cola
There’s a Christmas Urban Legend that says that Santa’s red suit was designed by Coca-Cola which they could even ‘own’ Santa!
This is definitely NOT TRUE!
Long before coke had been invented, St Nicholas had worn his Bishop’s red robes. During Victorian times and before that, he wore a variety of colors (red, green, blue and brown fur) but red was always his favorite!
In January 1863, the magazine Harper’s Weekly published the primary illustration of St Nicholas/St Nick by Nast. during this, he was wearing a ‘Stars and Stripes’ outfit! Over the subsequent 20 years, Nast continued to draw Santa every Christmas and his works were very fashionable indeed (he must are excellent friends with Santa to urge such good access!).
This is when Santa really began to develop his big tummy and therefore the sort of red and white outfit he wears today. Nast designed Santa’s look on some historical information about Santa and therefore the poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’.
On January 1st, 1881, Harper’s Weekly published Nast’s most famous image of Santa, complete with an enormous redbelly, an arm filled with toys and smoking a pipe!
This image of Santa became very fashionable, with more artists drawing Santa in his red and white costume from 1900 to 1930.
Santa was first utilized in Coke adverts within the 1920s, with Santa looking just like the drawings of Nast. In 1931, the classic ‘Coke Santa’ was drawn by artist Haddon Sundblom. He took the thought of Nast’s Santa but made him, even more, larger than life and jolly, replaced the pipe with a glass of Coke and created the famous Coke holding Santa!
Coca-Cola also agrees that the red suit was made popular by Nast not them!
Coke has continued to use Santa in their adverts since the 1930s. In 1995 they also introduced the ‘Coca-Cola Christmas truck’ within the ‘Holidays are coming’ TV adverts. The red truck, covered with lights and with the classic ‘Coke Santa’ on its sides is now a famous a part of recent Christmas history.