Thursday, December 3, 2020

Saint Nicholas/ Santa Claus


Saint Nicholas was a real historical figure of the 4th Century. He was a wealthy Christian pastor who became famous for his generosity. On Christmas he would anonymously deliver gifts to orphanages. 

The modern American Santa Claus was named by early Dutch Settlers in New York. Saint Nicholas Sinterklaas, thus became Santa Claus. In 1822, Clement Moore described Santa in a fur trimmed suit leading a sleigh pulled by reindeer in his poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas. Thomas Nast produced a series of sketches that showed Santa as a jolly, plump visitor, leaving toys for children.

Leaving treats for Santa dates back to Norse mythology. One of the first literary references to milk and cookies on Christmas in America appeared in the 1870s in the short story Polly: A Before-Christmas Story. During the Great Depression, parents wanted to inspire their children to share with others and as a sign of showing gratitude for blessings even in times of hardship.

Reference : American Holidays - Bill Perry




Val said...

I knew Santa was real!!!! I just knew it. This is so interesting. Thx.

Andrea said...

In Europe children grow up with the legend of St. Nicolas and December 6th, his name day is when you celebrate St. Nicolaus.
His legend starts with his childhood in what is today Turkey. Nicolaus was a wealthy orphan, who realize that money and all his possessions didn't make him happy. On his birthday, he went to the gatres of the city and passed out food to the poor.
To celebrate, you will leave your boot out by the door and find it filled with edible goodies, gingerbread, chocolate and tangerines. If you were not nice during the year St. Nicolaus would leave you twigs bound together with which your parents could hit you, more likely threaten to hit you. And St. Nicolaus with his donkey and his servant Rupprecht would come to your school and pass out small bags with goodies. Rupprecht wears a dark cloak and is the one showing the big bag and telling children that were not nice that he would take them with them to the forest. No North pol or elves for us.