Done with your Christmas shopping? Do you know the Origin of Santa Claus? All the bells, candles, canes of candy, stockings, snow globes, reindeer, snow sheets, garlands, wreaths, and Christmas tree? And what about an adorable doll of Santa Claus? You have already bought these and started decorating! So nice of you.
But, wait a minute…..Have you got the answers related to the quarries about Santa?
Have you ever thought of the connection between Santa and Christmas? From where did Santa come into our lives? What is the origin of Santa? What is the legend of Santa? Who is Santa?
Well, take a break….You would get to know all here at Curious Kasturi. Today, Curious Kasturi is all set to spill the beans on the origin of Santa Claus, the myths surrounding Santa, and how St. Nicholas descended as Santa Claus. Please don’t leave until you swallow the whole.
Origin of Santa Claus….The Jolly Man in Red…..The Gifts Bringer with Long White-Bearded
According to legend/myth, Saint Nicholas was the person who has been known as Santa Claus today since the dates back to the 4th century AD. Saint Nicholas took birth in Greece at the end of the third century, 280 AD. He was rich as his parent died leaving a lot of money behind them for Nicholas. He was a very generous man and had a reputation for helping the poor, needy, and children with money and gifts.
Sooner, he became the bishop of a small Roman village, named Myra. Myra is presently known as Turkey (called Asia Minor at that time). Very soon, he had promoted to a patron saint because of his compassionate nature and generous deeds.
Stories Surrounding Saint Nicholas
- Poor Man & Three Daughters: It was said, there was a poor man who lived with his three daughters. The man was too poor to arrange dowry for his daughters. Thus, his daughters were not got married and were forced into prostitution. Nicholas came to their rescue by slipping three bags full of gold down their chimney; he did it one by one for three daughters. The first bag Nicholas dropped through the chimney stuck in the stocking hung to dry by the fire.
It is told, right from there the custom of hanging stockings was started to receive gifts from Santa to date.
- Inn Keeper & Three Young Boys: It was said, that a treacherous innkeeper and his wife murdered three young school boys out of greed. Saint Nicholas resurrected (bring back to life) these three boys by felling the innkeeper on his knee and making him pray and remorse to get over his sins. That way, the boys got back to life and the innkeeper got out of sin.
- Sailors & Ship: There was another story of sailors whom Saint Nicholas saved from drowning underneath giant waves. He calmed the sea, stopped the storm, and saved sailors and their ships.
There were more stories evolved surrounding the existence of Saint Nicholas and his holy deeds saving the poor, children, and distressed from difficult situations.
How St. Nicholas Saved Christian Doctrines?
During the time of Great Persecution, 303, Nicholas saved Christian doctrines and spent years in exile in prison. Though, he was released under the dominance of Emperor Constantine, who was himself a Christian. Later on, in 325 AD, St. Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea to discuss and spread Christianity.
The exact date and year of Saint Nicholas’s death were unknown. Though, it is considered 6th December in 343 AD. So, in various parts of the world, especially in Europe the day 6th December is celebrated in the name of Saint Nicholas, a Feast day. Children hang stockings by fireplaces in the hope to receive presents from Santa aka Saint Nicholas.
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
After the reformation of Northern Europe in the 16th century, the stories of St. Nicholas became pale. But, the custom of bringing gifts to children must had go on. Thus, the imagery of St Christmas/Father Christmas/Old Man Christmas came into play in northern parts of Europe and the UK.
- In France, St Christmas became known as Pere Noel.
- In different parts of Austria and Germany, a golden-haired baby symbolized the baby figure of Jesus with wings and became a gift-bringer for children.
- During the early days of the USA, the name Kris Kringle (or Christkind) became popular as a gift bringer during Christmas. Then, Dutch people bought the name St. Nicholas and his stories to the USA and merged it with Kris Kringle.
Both names became popular in one as Sinterklaas or Santa Claus (as we recognize Santa presently). A jolly-belly white-bearded man in a red robe with a bag full of gifts.
Santa Claus and Coca-Cola
According to Urban Legend, Coca-Cola had designed the red suit on Santa. Though, it is not exactly true. It was Thomas Nast who drew Santa in the Harper’s Weekly magazine in the year 1863. For the next twenty years, Nast had drawn Santa every Christmas and his artisan got popular. Santa finally got his look at the big red belly with an arm full of gifts and smoking pipe in the year 1881 in Harper’s Weekly magazine by Nast.
In the year 1931, Coca-Cola used the image of Santa in their Coke advertisement with the classic look by Haddon Sundblom. A jolly old man with a larger belly with a glass of coke in his hand. Coca-Cola accepted that the red suit on Santa was come to live by Thomas Nast, not by them.
We can say that whoever Santa Claus was and whatever he looked like; we all love Santa and eagerly wait for his gifts and blesses every year on the evening of Christmas or x-mas.
Curious Kasturi and Her Team are all set to greet Santa and his blessing open-heartedly.
Love you SANTA CLAUS.
Wish you all a very Merry HAPPY CHRISTMAS in advance.