Every year millions of children around the world anxiously wait for the arrival of Santa Claus. 31. The History of Santa Claus Explained The story of Santa Claus seems to be a tale as old as time, but the Christmas icon actually has his roots in … 32. In this book Irving described Santa as a jolly man who rode in a wagon pulled by horses. set of 12 porcelain santas from around the world contains the following santa figurines: 1925 u.s.a. 1900 belgium 1910 yugoslavia 1905 england 1909 poland 1920 holland 1908 germany 1903 russia 1885 romania 1891 czechoslovakia 1904 austria 1884 hungary. Santa Claus around the world. In the Netherlands and Belgium, presents are delivered by Sinterklaas, who is often called De Goede Sint (“The Good Saint”) and De Goedheiligman (“The Good Holy Man”). 33. Germany- Weihnachtsmann (“Christmas Man”) But in 1863 he created his most enduring work, when his famous illustration of “Merry Old Santa Claus” appeared in Harper’s Weekly. 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. St. Nicholas has been the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint for centuries. 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. Two writers in American literature helped make Santa Claus an American tradition. The feast takes place on December 6, and eventually came to be celebrated in many countries around the world. The tradition of children receiving gifts during the month of December is relatively the same no matter where you go in the world, but the character that brings the gifts can vary quite a bit from country to country. Many children put a boot, called Nikolaus-Stiefel, outside their front doors on the night of December 5 to December 6 . 70+ Names of Santa Claus Across the World 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. In other countries, the figure of St. Nicholas was blended with local pagan folklore. Father Christmas first became known outside the UK as “the Ghost of Christmas Present” in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. When scientists reconstructed his face using forensic technology, they discovered that the future saint had a badly broken nose. The figure of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a real person who lived during the fourth century in Patara, or what is now Turkey. includes certificate of authenticity. Next you should try to reuse what you have already bought once its initial purpose has run its course. 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! READ MORE: Atlanta Christmas Events: 50 Things to do for Christmas in Georgia. He traditionally appears during festivals on Krampusnacht (December 5), the night before the feast of St. Nicholas. He also used other real people as models for his paintings, with the children based on his neighbors and a poodle in a 1964 painting belonging to his neighborhood florist. READ MORE: Real Christmas Tree vs Fake Christmas Tree: Which is Better? He almost certainly had an oil skin tone, brown eyes, and grey/silver hair. Just as Odin rode Sleipnir, Sinterklaas rides a white horse. Like most kids who grew up in the US, I became fascinated with Santa Claus from a very early age. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies. Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, including Langbarðr (“long beard”) and Jólnir (“Yule figure”). 23. Irving’s story may also be the first time Santa was depicted as sliding down a chimney to deliver presents. In Washington Irving’s satirical story History of New York(1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into “Santa Claus.” This name for St. Nicholas was first used in the American press in 1773. The modern image of Santa Claus has been refined again and again. The image of the jolly old elf we know and love today was created by artist Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola advertisements, which debuted in The Saturday Evening Post in 1931. The History Of Santa Claus Around The World Every child in the western world can tell you who he is, but the history of the Santa Claus is one of variation from culture to culture. This is the case of Australia, where it is said that Santa Claus … 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. Santa Claus has been successfull in engaging a young child's sense of wonder through his unique characterizations. Netherlands- Kerstman The tradition of kids getting their picture taken with Santa dates back to at least 1918. According to legend, Odin kept two ravens that would listen at people’s chimneys to find out who was good or bad. Naturally the Hawaiian Christmas holiday has a tropical theme. 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. But this isn't the case for everyone - here's how different countries around the world represent 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. In the book, the character was notably renamed to Santa Claus. He gathers gifts for hundreds of millions of children, and deliver them in one night. 15. You may know him as Santa Claus — the guy in the red and white suit with a big white beard, who delivers presents on Christmas Eve via a reindeer-led sleigh. 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. They surmised that he had received the injury during the persecution of Christians under the rule of Emperor Diocletian, who famously divided the Roman Empire. 14. The figure later known as Father Christmas first appeared in Christmas his Masque, a 1616 play written by Ben Jonson. The story of Santa Claus living at the North Pole didn't come about until December 29, 1866, when a cartoon by illustrator Thomas Nast was published in Harper's Weekly, according to The World.Before that, Santa just lived wherever. John Pintard, who founded the New York Historical Society in 1804, also deserves his fair share of credit for making jolly old St. Nick more popular in the US. 50. Every year millions of children around the world anxiously wait for the arrival of Santa Claus. Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. We are open to discussing advertising, sponsorships, brand ambassadorships, freelance work, speaking/teaching engagements, and consulting opportunities. After asking the children if they’ve been naughty or nice, he asks them to sing a song or recite a poem. Santa Claus has many names across the world. In the United States, they’re sent to Santa Claus, Indiana! To serve you ever was my end, If you will, now, me something give, I’ll serve you ever while I live.”. During Joseph Stalin’s reign in Russia (1924-1953), he attempted to eradicate Santa Claus and Christmas altogether in favor of a more secular “Winter Festival.” Russians commonly believe that an elderly woman named Babouschka purposely gave the wise men bad directions to Bethlehem so that they couldn’t find Jesus. Called “Santa Claus” in the text, he moves through the air on a sledge pulled by eight reindeers and goes through the chimneys of the houses to distribute the gifts. Santa Claus has been successfull in engaging a young child's sense of wonder through his unique characterizations. Finland- Joulupukki But unlike other children, I never really grew out of my interest in St. Nick. This led to a huge hullabaloo one year, when Santa’s belt was backwards! 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). We share transformative Responsible Travel, Sustainable Living & Going Green Tips that make a positive impact. She is said to be the reincarnated form of Henriette de Montbéliard, the Countess of the County of Montbéliard. He personified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas. In the period leading up to Christmas, French children write letters to Père Noël in class at school, asking him for certain presents. Supporters of King Charles adopted Father Christmas as a symbol of their cause because he represented bountiful feasting and good cheer. As early as 1555, St. Nicholas brought German children gifts on December 6, which was the only “Christmas” gift-giving time during the Middle Age. 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. It wasn’t until Victorian times that he started being associated with giving gifts to children. Sinterklaas wears a red bishop s dress including a red mitre, rides a white horse over the rooftops of houses and is assisted by many helpers with soot black faces and colorful Moorish dresses, dating back two centuries. Some of his awe-inspiring feature that fascinates are: he is virtually omnipresent and can visit hundreds of millions of homes in one night. Some of his awe-inspiring feature that fascinates are: he is virtually omnipresent and can visit hundreds of millions of homes in one night. 41. If they’ve been bad, the devil might give them a lump of coal. The most popular Christmas dinner is a community or family luau, complete with roast pig and colorful Christmas leis. In recent years, some Dutch have started to celebrate Christmas Eve with Santa as well. She gave the wise men the wrong directions and on the eve of Three Kings Day she wanders from house to house, peering into the faces of children and leaving gifts. Instead, Père Noël brings toys after the evening Mass on Christmas Eve. In Washington Irving’s satirical story History o… Other countries have preferred to adapt Santa’s representation to their own culture or climate. Christopher Columbus named a port in Haiti for St. Nicholas in 1492, and the Spanish also named the St. Nicholas Ferry settlement (now Jacksonville, Florida) after him. The legend of the creature dates back hundreds of years, but the church stamped out the majority of its influence in the 1800s. … Always the inquisitive kid, I had so many questions: Who was Santa Claus? 28. In France gifts are also brought by Father Christmas, Pre Noel, or the Christ Child himself. Sundblom’s Coca-Cola Santa Claus became one of the 20th century’s most successful ad campaigns. In the Czech Republic, Santa comes on December 5, which is known as St. Nicholas Eve and considered a separate holiday from Christmas. Led by Erik the Red and later his son, newly converted Christian Leif Eriksson, the Vikings were the first Europeans to arrive in the New World. 25. 3. For small children in the Netherlands, Sinterklaasavond (St Nicholas evening) is much more important than Christmas. Some versions of the traditional folklore suggest he’ll swat them with birch branches, while others involve a sack for taking them to Hell. Sweden- Jultomten (“Christmas brownie”) 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. Nast added such details as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and Santa's list of the good and bad children of the world. Typical presents include the first letter of the child's name made out of chocolate, a figurine of Sinterklaas made out of chocolate and wrapped in painted aluminum foil, colored marzipan shaped into fruit, an animal or some other object. 40. There are actually dozens of different names used for the German Santa Claus. Children from all over the state came to see him. The four most popular names are Weihnachtsmann, Klaus, Nickel, and Niglo, each of which is more popular in a different region of the country. Instead of the traditional red hat with a white pom pom on top, Père Noël has a fur-lined hood built right into his cloak, which is also trimmed with white fur. Ranging all the way back to the 4th century, Saint Nicholas has been shaped through mythological, religious, and cultural influences. Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. Children all around the world today know about Santa Claus, the man who delivers gifts to every house on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus’ sleigh had only eight reindeer until Rudolph and his red nose were created in 1939 by copywriter Robert L. May while working for the Montgomery Ward department store. Recycling should generally be used only as a last resort, because it still produces more waste than reducing and reusing. 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. Hope Santa has a good personal trainer in the off-season…, READ MORE: Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas, Filed Under: CULTURAL EXPLORATION, Ecotourism & Green Living Blog, Global Culture, UNESCO SITES/HISTORY Tagged With: Christmas. 16. 43. 29. Real Christmas Tree vs Fake Christmas Tree: Which is Better? The History Of Santa Claus Around The World Every child in the western world can tell you who he is, but the history of the Santa Claus is one of variation from culture to culture. 3. Brazil- Papai Noel Santa Claus Worldwide describes gift givers throughout the world in history from the pagan god Odin to the present day Father Christmas, Weihnachmann, Père Noël, Ded Moroz, and Santa Claus. 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. In Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway, the original bringer of gifts at Christmastime was the Yule Goat. 5. The three countries that send the most letters are France (1.7 million), Canada (1.35 million), and the United States (just over a million). Although many in North America are most familiar with a red-and-white-suit-wearing Santa who boasts a winter beard and long hair, there are variations of Santa around the world. Norway- Julenissen (“Christmas gnome”) According to Dutch tradition, Santa Claus leaves Spain to arrive in the Netherlands in a boat loaded with presents. 36. The popular department store Santa tradition dates back nearly 130 years. Recycled Christmas cards crafts are a great way to reuse a common holiday-related waste product. The program starts on December 1, but the actual Santa-tracking simulation starts at midnight annually on December …  The remains of St. Nicholas, an early precursor to Santa Claus, are in Italy.Looters stole half of his skeleton as well as other relics. Italy- Babbo Natale Many of Sundblom’s original paintings can now be seen at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. From his fuzzy red suit and his long white hair and beard to the reindeer who pulled his sleigh, this jolly old elf who distributed presents to kids all around the world was a larger-than-life legend. Once the Yule season rolls around, you can't shake a sprig of mistletoe without seeing images of a chubby man in a red suit.Santa Claus is everywhere, and although he's traditionally associated with the Christmas holiday, his origins can be traced back to a blend of an early Christian bishop (and later saint) and a Norse deity. 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. 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. 9. 20 Symbols of Christmas: History & Meaning of Christmas Decorations, Christkindl or “Kris Kringle” (German Santa Claus), 30 Recycled Christmas Decorations & DIY Christmas Crafts to Make, 75 Christmas Traditions Around the World (with Fun Facts), The 25 Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe, 20 Best Festivals in the World (includes Krampusnacht). Spanish children widely prefer the Three Kings (a.k.a. Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and Odin, a major god of the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization. 13. 24. In some towns Christkindl is a beautiful girl-angel sent down from heaven to give gifts. Some 26% of the Dutch population gives presents on both Sinterklaas Day and Christmas Day. The mispronunciation stuck making Sinterklaas into Santa Claus. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that it first became popular to depict Santa Claus wearing a red suit. 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. So, in addition to our annual traditions (including reading The Night Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas), we’ll be sharing these 50 fascinating facts about Santa’s 1600-year history and honoring St. Nicholas’ legacy of charitable giving. But by then the character had lost his bishop’s apparel. St Nicholas and Père Fouettard. When Father Christmas first began showing up in illustrations, he wore many different colored robes, including green, purple, blue, and brown, among others. JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The classic image of Santa Claus, the big jolly man with a flowing white beard and red suit, may be one of the most recognizable characters throughout the world. Russia also has Grandfather Frost. 35. English children wait for Father Christmas, known to their ancestors as Christmas itself. 12. After he passed away, Sundblom began using himself as a model, painting while looking into a mirror. 34. He was instead pictured as a big-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe and a green winter coat. Although Santa/St. The company didn’t actually introduce the Sprite beverage until the 1960s. The portrait pictures Santa leaving treats in children’s stockings hanging by a fireplace. Art and culture The 5 best Harriet Tubman sites you can visit. The story that Santa lives at the North Pole may have been a Thomas Nast creation. Countless kids around the world send letters to Santa Claus each Christmas season. In Russia the same ageless wanderer is called Baboushka. 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. The first one was Massachusetts entrepreneur James Edgar, who took on the role back in 1890. 38. Parents tell stories of the man with the white beard, red coat, and polished boots who travels the world with his reindeer bearing gifts for all those who were well-behaved. Children put a saucer of milk or rice pudding out for them in the attic and hope to find it empty in the morning. Ho ho ho! The accompanying poem reads, “Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend! The children usually leave a drink for each of the Three Kings, as well as some food and drink for their camels. Here, the saint was transfomed as a plump and jolly old man bringing gifts. He dresses in red and carries a bulging sack on his back. The text was so successful that this new representation of Saint Nicholas was adopted around the world! Here is a huge list of what people call him from around the world. If you love Santa Claus but don’t like immigrants, consider yourself a hypocrite. 31. White Rock Beverages used Santa to sell mineral water in 1915, and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923. The reliquary of St Nicholas was desecrated by Italian sailors and the spoils were taken to Bari, where they are kept to this day. In 1942 Sundblom introduced a new friend for his Coca-Cola Santa, known as “Sprite Boy.” The character, who appeared in Coke’s Christmas ads for nearly two decades, was named for the fact that he was a sprite (another name for an elf). This year, as my 17-year-old daughter celebrates her last holiday at home before heading off to college, will be an extra special season for us. In Syria children's gifts come from the youngest camel on January 6th, which is Three Kings Day. Parents tell stories of the man with the white beard, red coat, and polished boots who travels the world with his reindeer bearing gifts for all those who were well-behaved. Remember our God never changes, as you can see Santa Claus does change based on where you live, like his appearance, but God who sent His Son for us never changes. Santa Claus has many names across the world. St. Nicholas was a wealthy man who wanted to share his fortune with people who were poor or … 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. 6. Of course one of the most important aspects of this mission is reducing waste. Well, the good children get presents from Père Noël. 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. Santa Claus is called Papa Noel and some children receive presents both days on December 24th (from Papa Noel) and on January 6th (from the Three Kings). That night, he normally arrives accompanied by one or more angels and devils. Eventually this figure was replaced by der Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) in Protestant regions and in the U.S., where Christkindl mutated into “Kris Kringle.” Ironically, Christkindl is still popular in the Catholic region of Bavaria. They’re known as Aschenmann, Bartl, Boozenickel, Hans Trapp, Klaubauf, Belsnickel/Pelznickel, Ruhklas, and Knecht Ruprecht, and all of them are pretty darn frightening. World's largest independently owned Ecotourism / Green Travel / Sustainable Travel / Animal & Wildlife Conservation site. Santa Claus is said to live at the North Pole with his wife, where he spends the year making toys with the help of his elves.There he receives letters from children asking for Christmas gifts. Christmas traditions around the world are diverse, ... Santa Claus—otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle—has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions. Slide 1 of 11. READ MORE: 10 Best Environmental Charities for Holiday Donations. The jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus in America. 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. 49. In Germany, his companions are more malevolent characters, with different names in different regions. … READ MORE: 30 Recycled Christmas Decorations & DIY Christmas Crafts to Make. In 1126 they built a cathedral dedicated to Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, students, and more. 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. 10. Modern details originally established in this poem included riding in a sleigh that lands on the rooftop, having 8 reindeer, and carrying a bag full of toys. Saint Nicholas was a Greek Christian bishop born sometime around 280 A.D. (approximately 1738 years ago) near Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia (now located in Turkey). Sundblom’s early paintings of Santa Claus were actually based on a live model– his buddy Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. With over 2.1 billion children and an average of 2.5 children per household, Santa must make 842 million stops in 32 hours on Christmas Eve. In the Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas has helpers commonly known as Zwarte Piet (“Black Peter”) in Dutch. Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. 22. 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. 18. 4. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Hawaiian Santa Claus and his elves wear aloha shirts instead of fur-trimmed suits. Father Christmas was considered controversial in those pre-reformation days after the English Civil War. 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. Instead of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa in France on Christmas Eve, the children leave carrots and other treats for Père Noël’s flying donkey, Gui (the French word for mistletoe). Early representations of the gift-giver from Church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas, merged with the English character Father Christmas to create the mythical character known to the rest of the English-speaking world as "Santa Claus" (a phonetic derivation of "Sinterklaas" in Dutch). It was he who launched the society’s first annual St. Nicholas anniversary dinner on December 6, 1910. 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