The program starts on December 1, but the actual Santa-tracking simulation starts at midnight annually on December … Edgar, who owned a small dry goods store in Brockton, Massachusetts, came up with the idea of dressing up in a Santa Claus costume as a marketing tool. The most famous of these St. Nicholas companions is Krampus, a half-goat, half-demon creature with a hideous face, horns, fangs, and a long, pointed tongue. Before we get into that, let’s explore how the name Santa Claus even came to be. Ranging all the way back to the 4th century, Saint Nicholas has been shaped through mythological, religious, and cultural influences. The story that Santa lives at the North Pole may have been a Thomas Nast creation. His feast, known as Sinterklaasfest, dates back to the Middle Ages and originally combined philanthropy to the poor with parties of Carnival-style excess. The Feast of Sinterklaas is observed in Netherlands on December 6th but begins on December 5th during St. Nicholas’s Eve where people give out gifts especially to the children. Recycled Christmas cards crafts are a great way to reuse a common holiday-related waste product. On the evening of December 5, Sinterklaas brings presents to every child that has been good in the past year. 43. In Germany he was known as Ru-laus (Rough Nicholas), Aschenklas (Ashy Nicholas), or Pelznickel (Furry Nicholas). In the Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas has helpers commonly known as Zwarte Piet (“Black Peter”) in Dutch. He created his final Santa painting in 1964, but his art went on to be exhibited at the Louvre, the Royal Ontario Museum, and many more famous museums around the world. Nicholas has been celebrated for over 1,000 years now, Mrs. Claus didn’t get a single mention until the 1849 publication of A Christmas Legend, a short story by James Rees. Children often call him “Santa no ojisan”, which means “Uncle Santa”. In Spain, kids write letters to Los Reyes Magos– Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar– who bring the children gifts either the night before, or on the morning of, the Epiphany (January 6). All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. In Morocco he is known as Black Peter. In Syria children's gifts come from the youngest camel on January 6th, which is Three Kings Day. Two writers in American literature helped make Santa Claus an American tradition. This new version of the folkloric creature was obviously inspired by the Santa Claus traditions that were gradually spreading to Scandinavia. Instead, Père Noël brings toys after the evening Mass on Christmas Eve. During the Protestant Reformation, St. Nicholas was relegated to being Jesus’ sidekick, and looked nothing like the Santa Claus of today. This popular phrase is a literal order of priorities in terms of how we can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Father Christmas fills the … Known as Pére Noël, the French Santa Claus has a keen sense of style. There are no presents under the tree for French kids on Christmas Day. 37. Both of those figures traveled via a noble, white steed. Santa Claus Worksheets. Two writers in American literature helped make Santa Claus an American tradition. includes certificate of authenticity. Santa Claus, otherwise known as Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas, is loved by children around the world during the festive season. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. The older I got, and the more I learned about Santa, the more I came to treasure the Christmas spirit he represented and the importance of keeping it in our hearts all year round. Germany- Weihnachtsmann (“Christmas Man”) Some households import real Christmas trees from the mainland, while other decorate palm trees with lights and ornaments and use outrigger canoes and dolphins to resemble Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. 5. Spanish children widely prefer the Three Kings (a.k.a. Eventually, the use of Christmas stockings began to replace boots. In the book, the character was notably renamed to Santa Claus. 34. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good. 47. In Russia the same ageless wanderer is called Baboushka. What is the origin of the American Santa. The saint is also commonly known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, due to the many miracles attributed to his intercession. With a name that derives from the German word for “claw,” Krampus serves as the resident heavy of Santa’s gang, dishing out beatings and other medieval-style punishments to naughty kids. After asking the children if they’ve been naughty or nice, he asks them to sing a song or recite a poem. He personified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas. 3. In the period leading up to Christmas, French children write letters to Père Noël in class at school, asking him for certain presents. On Christmas Day, everybody receives presents, but often without the help of Sinterklaas. Legend in the Alpine countries holds that Krampus comes to punish the naughty children. Assuming all of the households he visits leave out two cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, he consumes around 374 billion calories, 33,000 tons of sugar, and 151,000 tons of fat in one night! Santa Claus around the world. Children put a saucer of milk or rice pudding out for them in the attic and hope to find it empty in the morning. Today, the Dutch holiday season traditionally begins in mid-November, when Sinterklaas arrives by steamboat at a designated port, then parades through the streets on his horse. Like St. Nicholas, he’s elderly, with long white hair and a full beard. But this isn't the case for everyone - here's how different countries around the world represent Santa Claus. 9. They also brought the Christmas traditions of their homeland, which included giving gifts and sweets to children on December 6, the day of his feast. Every year millions of children around the world anxiously wait for the arrival of Santa Claus. 31. 3. Elves called Juul Nisse are said to come from the attic, where they live, to help Julemanden. Czech Republic- Svatý Mikuláš Irving’s story may also be the first time Santa was depicted as sliding down a chimney to deliver presents. The popularity of Sundblom’s images spawned urban legends that Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company, or that Santa wears red and white because they’re the colors used to promote the Coca-Cola brand. He was famous for his generous and anonymous gifts to the poor. In the Czech Republic, Santa comes on December 5, which is known as St. Nicholas Eve and considered a separate holiday from Christmas. In Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina , Brazil, the Philippines and Spain, the Three Kings, themselves, give the gifts to the children. That night, he normally arrives accompanied by one or more angels and devils. This fanciful fairy is said to always be accompanied by her donkey, Marion, and to reward good children with gifts and naughty children with nothing but a boot filled with twigs. By the early 1800s, pre-modern representations such as the historic St. Nicholas and the Dutch Sinterklaas had merged with the British Father Christmas to create the character now known as Santa Claus. 2. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer didn’t come along until 1939, when Robert L. May created the character in a book for the Montgomery Ward department store. 13. It wasn’t until Victorian times that he started being associated with giving gifts to children. Art and culture The 5 best Harriet Tubman sites you can visit. The government, which was controlled by Puritans, wanted to abolish Christmas and its traditional customs because they considered it a Catholic holiday. These include tales of him calming stormy seas, chopping down a tree that was possessed by a demon, and saving three innocent soldiers from being put to death. Always the inquisitive kid, I had so many questions: Who was Santa Claus? We are open to discussing advertising, sponsorships, brand ambassadorships, freelance work, speaking/teaching engagements, and consulting opportunities. Please contact us at info@GreenTravelMedia.com for more info. He dresses in red and carries a bulging sack on his back. 23. It was Dutch immigrants who originally brought the legend of Saint Nicholas (who was known to them as Sinterklaas) with them to New Amsterdam, which we now know as New York City. Three Wise Men) over Santa Claus when it comes to Christmastime gift-givers. The feast takes place on December 6, and eventually came to be celebrated in many countries around the world. Get inspired to travel everyday by signing up to our daily newsletter. According to legend, Odin kept two ravens that would listen at people’s chimneys to find out who was good or bad. Father Christmas was considered controversial in those pre-reformation days after the English Civil War. Naturally the Hawaiian Christmas holiday has a tropical theme. American Santa Claus became a symbol of generosity following World War II as American troops, dressed as Santa, gave food and toys to children in war-torn Europe. These included scenes of him delivering presents by going down the chimney, riding over the roofs of houses on a horse, and arriving from Spain by steamboat. … 39. Protestants also turned the Devil into St. Nick’s helper in an attempt to demonize the Catholic saint, hoping their faithful flock would associate Santa with hellfire and damnation. With Christmas fast approaching, we want to help by providing ways to reduce waste created by this increasingly commercialized holiday. Initially published anonymously, the famous poem– which is better known today as “Twas The Night Before Christmas”– was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. 12. When scientists reconstructed his face using forensic technology, they discovered that the future saint had a badly broken nose. People portraying Zwarte Piet typically wear blackface make-up, colorful clothes from the Renaissance era, curly-haired wigs, red lipstick, and earrings. The mispronunciation stuck making Sinterklaas into Santa Claus. 32. His 1866 collage of engravings titled Santa Claus and His Works included the caption, “Santa Clausville, N.P.”, READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA. One of the first artists to define Santa Claus’s modern-day image was Thomas Nast, a German-born cartoonist of the 19th century. Other countries have preferred to adapt Santa’s representation to their own culture or climate. 4. In 1809, Washington Irving updated the image of Sinterklaas from a bishop to a heavy Dutch sailor with a pipe in his book "A History of New York," a parody of New York’s Dutch population and culture. Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. 27. Kriskringle came from Germany, Father Christmas from … Not only does this (presumably fake) fur cloak make the French Santa more fashionable, it’s also more practical when flying across the night sky at light speed! This is the case of Australia, where it is said that Santa Claus … Nast was best known as a political cartoonist, particularly for his pro-Union work during the Civil War and creating the Republican Party’s iconic elephant. Collectively known as the Nikolaus-Begleiter (Nicholas Companions), these sinister souls reflect the twisted darkness of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales, which were based on ancient Germanic folklore. Santa Claus is a character known and loved around the world, and every culture celebrates Christmas in a special way. It is true that the American version of Santa is rapidly catching on abroad, but in addition to Mr. Claus many countries still celebrate their own unique Christmas characters. Santa Claus has been successfull in engaging a young child's sense of wonder through his unique characterizations. If they’ve been good, he gives them a basket of presents, often containing chocolate and fruit. White Rock Beverages used Santa to sell mineral water in 1915, and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923. Sundblom’s early paintings of Santa Claus were actually based on a live model– his buddy Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. In Austria and Switzerland the Christkindl bears gifts. In 1087, the Italian city of Bari mounted an expedition to locate the tomb of the Christian Saint and procure his remains in order to attract tourism to the area. He gathers gifts for hundreds of millions of children, and deliver them in one night. Although Santa/St. In that holiday classic, he was portrayed as a large, genial man who takes Ebenezer Scrooge through the bustling streets of London on Christmas morning, sprinkling the essence of the holiday onto the happy populace. In the United States, they’re sent to Santa Claus, Indiana! 6. 11. With his native land divided between Protestants and Catholics, Luther wanted to rid Christmas of all its Catholic customs. 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