The legend of Santa Claus is inspired by a real man. Here’s all you need to know about Father Christmas
It’s the time of the year when winter is at its peak, and the days and nights are nearly freezing. The joyousness of this festive season is the only thing that keeps our spirits warm.
While the elders are busy doing up their houses and making traditional dishes for Christmas celebrations, children eagerly wait for Santa Claus, the figure who is regarded as the traditional patron of Christmas globally, and who is also believed to brings gifts for children on Christmas Eve.
Do you know where Santa lives?
Santa Claus, known to be a jolly man spreading happiness and holiday cheer every year, lives at the North Pole with his wife, Mrs Claus. He spends the entire year making toys for children with the help of his elves, after receiving letters from kids requesting their favourite gifts. On Christmas Eve, in a sleigh drawn by eight reindeer, he takes off from the North Pole to distribute gifts at each child’s house.
Santa loves to feast. As per legends, after sliding down from the chimney into the house, Santa munches on cookies and has milk, left by children for him.
Father Christmas is a legend that grew popular over the years but Santa was once a real man, who was later regarded as a religious figure and then pop culture transformed his image into the Santa we know.
Do you that Santa was a real man?
The real name of Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle. His story dates back to the 3rd century.
Saint Nicholas was born in 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. The Saint donated all his inherited wealth and used to travel along the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the most famous stories is about the time he saved three girls from being sold into prostitution by their own father, by providing the girls with a dowry so that they could get married.
Over the years, Nicholas became popular for his deeds and came to be known as the protector of children.
December 6 is commemorated as Saint Nicholas Day. His feast day was traditionally considered as a lucky day to make large purchases or for marriage purposes.
Why is Father Christmas known as Santa Claus?
Nicholas came to be known as Santa Claus because of his Dutch nickname, Sintar Klaas. A member of the New York Historical Society, John Pintard in 1804, distributed woodcuts of Saint Nicholas at the annual meeting of the society. The woodcut depicted how the daily life of Santa Claus was and it had a striking similarity to how people perceive him to be nowadays.
Washington Irving popularised the Sintar Klaas tales further in 1809 when he referred to Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York.
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