Do you believe in the magic of Christmas as we do and are you excited to see Santa?
So hop on our polar express to get to know about our old jolly and mysterious elf who magically appears on Christmas to bring sparks in our lives.
What do we know about Santa Claus?
This old man said to live in the North Pole wears the red coat, snow boots and white beard, who roam around the world with his sleigh bearing gifts made by his elves stopping at each child’s home and dropping gifts through their chimney for well-behaved lads, we are so in love with this oh so lovely childhood tale!!
Perhaps one day, parents will also tell their kids the story of our real Santa Claus – a man who dedicated his life to charity and gift-giving.
Who Santa Claus is based upon?
The story begins in the late third century around 280 AD. A man named St. Nicholas Sinterklaas Became the bishop of a Roman village Myra in modern Turkey. After his death on December 6, a feast day of gift-giving was begun in his honour and people started celebrating St. Nicholas day later merged into Christmas celebrations but still few countries which celebrates this day in his honour.
One of the folklore about St. Nicholas mentions him secretly gifting gold to a poor man who had three daughters. The man, unfortunately, became destitute that he did not have enough money for dowry, reason his daughters couldn’t get married.
One night, St. Nicholas secretly slide down a bag of gold down their chimney and into the house for his daughter’s wedding. The bag fell into a sock that had been hung by the fireplace to dry! This he repeated later as well with the second daughter.
Out of curiosity, Poor father determined to find the person who had given him the gold he secretly hid by the fireplace every evening until he caught the saint dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas requested the man to keep this as a secret about what he had done because he did not want people around to know this, but soon his good deed got out and when anyone used to receive a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.
As Jesus said in bible, “Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:4). It also encouraged kindness and practice of giving among people.
The journey of ‘Santa ‘
The name Santa Claus is the phonetic diversion of the Dutch name Sinterklaas, who doesn’t use to look much like the red-cheeked, white-bearded old man, he was rather portrayed as a bearded bishop in robes. Though he was the patron saint of many of the European nations including Austria, Russia, Germany and Belgium, But it was in the Netherlands we first began to see a semblance close to the Santa we are familiar with today.
Also few suggests that our Santa has absorbed elements of the Germanic deity Wodan, who was related to the midwinter festival Yule, which includes a procession through the sky and had magical powers like flight and comparisons often found in the image of Santa with European deities like the Roman Saturn or the Norse Odin, as they are white-bearded man with supernatural abilities.
Who painted Santa Red?
So as we see the influence of culture, literature and art has given us our fat jolly Santa in a red dress. It was Clement Clarke in 1822 who wrote “A visit from St. Nicholas “ widely known today as “ The night before Christmas” for his six children and he unknowingly added to the Santa Claus phenomenon, as the text mentions the old laughing Santa riding a sleigh driven by a team of eight reindeers which went viral.
But still much left to imagine how Santa looks also by about 1200, Canadian writer Gerry Bowler, (author of Santa Claus: A Biography ) has added, the image of Santa which later became standardized as an adult, dressed in red with white trimmed fur, heading out from the North Pole in a sleigh.
But his image was largely created in 1862 by civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly, where Santa was a tiny elflike figure shown as a union supporter. He continuously drew Santa for 30 years, changing the colour of his coat from tan to the red as seen everywhere today.