history of santa claus around the world

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. This has led to controversy, with critics calling it an offensive racial stereotype reminiscent of the Dutch colonial era. The reliquary of St Nicholas was desecrated by Italian sailors and the spoils were taken to Bari, where they are kept to this day. 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. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies. The mispronunciation stuck making Sinterklaas into Santa Claus. 3. Raised in the Episcopal Church, I became particularly fascinated with the history of Santa Claus. Launch slideshow. In the period leading up to Christmas, French children write letters to Père Noël in class at school, asking him for certain presents. Two writers in American literature helped make Santa Claus an American tradition. He gathers gifts for hundreds of millions of children, and deliver them in one night. Ho ho ho! Many children put a boot, called Nikolaus-Stiefel, outside their front doors on the night of December 5 to December 6 . 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. 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. The tradition of kids getting their picture taken with Santa dates back to at least 1918. In this book Irving described Santa as a jolly man who rode in a wagon pulled by horses. There are several stories of how Père Fouettard (or Father Whipper as he is known) came to exist, but they all centre on a dark, sadistic killer who murders three boys. Introduced in 1823 in The Night Before Christmas, Santa’s reindeer were originally named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. 14. 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. 21. 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. United Kingdom . In Europe, there are countless Santa-like figures, such as St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, and Joulupukki, who have a big white beard and a jolly laugh. … 37. She is said to be the reincarnated form of Henriette de Montbéliard, the Countess of the County of Montbéliard. 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. 41. NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas-themed program in which NORAD simulates the tracking of Santa Claus, who is said to leave the North Pole to travel around the world on his mission to deliver presents to children every year on Christmas Eve. His feast, known as Sinterklaasfest, dates back to the Middle Ages and originally combined philanthropy to the poor with parties of Carnival-style excess. We share transformative Responsible Travel, Sustainable Living & Going Green Tips that make a positive impact. 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. Some of his awe-inspiring feature that fascinates are: he is virtually omnipresent and can visit hundreds of millions of homes in one night. One of the first artists to define Santa Claus’s modern-day image was Thomas Nast, a German-born cartoonist of the 19th century. The program starts on December 1, but the actual Santa-tracking simulation starts at midnight annually on December … The story that Santa lives at the North Pole may have been a Thomas Nast creation. But this isn't the case for everyone - here's how different countries around the world represent 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. Some of his awe-inspiring feature that fascinates are: he is virtually omnipresent and can visit hundreds of millions of homes in one night. Where did he come from? Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize a modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising. In 1126 they built a cathedral dedicated to Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, students, and more. 26. If they’ve been bad, the devil might give them a lump of coal. READ MORE: 10 Best Environmental Charities for Holiday Donations. France- Pere Noel 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). In Germany, his companions are more malevolent characters, with different names in different regions. Santa Claus has many names across the world. 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. Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. Three Wise Men) over Santa Claus when it comes to Christmastime gift-givers. He dresses in red and carries a bulging sack on his back. 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. The character of Santa Claus is largely based on St. Nicholas of Myra and Sinterklaas of Dutch lore. The four most popular names are Weihnachtsmann, Klaus, Nickel, and Niglo, each of which is more popular in a different region of the country. With his native land divided between Protestants and Catholics, Luther wanted to rid Christmas of all its Catholic customs. 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. Swedish children wait eagerly for Jultomten, a gnome whose sleigh is drawn by the Julbocker, the goats of the Thor, the god of thunder. This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Santa Claus Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more Santa Claus who on Christmas eve is said to piles toys on his sleigh and flies around the world with … According to some traditions, children would place their boots near the chimney, filling them with carrots, straw, or sugar for Sleipnir to eat. In Morocco he is known as Black Peter. 31. 10. In the festive production, “Old Christmas” was portrayed as a jolly, well-nourished, bearded man dressed in a fur-lined robe. 15. 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. In Luxembourg, he is always accompanied by Father Fouettard and travels by helicopter or train, and sometimes on the back of a donkey. Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and Odin, a major god of the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization. The portrait pictures Santa leaving treats in children’s stockings hanging by a fireplace. Now, on the night of December 5 or 6, a man dressed as der Heilige Nikolaus (who resembles a bishop and carries a staff) goes from house to house in small communities in Austria and the Catholic regions of Germany in order to bring small gifts to the children. 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. 32. The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper's magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. Actually, in Santa Claus’s history, you’d be surprised. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Poland- Swiety Mikolaj (St. Nicholas) In Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway, the original bringer of gifts at Christmastime was the Yule Goat. 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. 24. It simply depended on which Santa Claus mythos you happened to believe. Hawaii- Kanakaloka 3. This led to a huge hullabaloo one year, when Santa’s belt was backwards! Before we get into that, let’s explore how the name Santa Claus even came to be. Eventually, the use of Christmas stockings began to replace boots. 5. In some towns Christkindl is a beautiful girl-angel sent down from heaven to give gifts. Even though the tradition of the Yule Goat as a bringer of presents is now gone, a straw goat is still a very common Christmas decoration in all of Scandinavia. If you love Santa Claus but don’t like immigrants, consider yourself a hypocrite. Santa Claus has many names across the world. [9] 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. Where Odin’s ravens told him whether kids were naughty or nice, Sinterklaas’ helpers do the same. The figure later known as Father Christmas first appeared in Christmas his Masque, a 1616 play written by Ben Jonson. Italy- Babbo Natale Santa Claus, otherwise known as Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas, is loved by children around the world during the festive season. 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. 12. 11. The popular department store Santa tradition dates back nearly 130 years. In Belgium, presents are given to children only, but to almost all of them, on Sinterklaas Day. The most popular Christmas dinner is a community or family luau, complete with roast pig and colorful Christmas leis. 30. 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. Russia- Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”) 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! Netherlands- Kerstman 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. Recycling should generally be used only as a last resort, because it still produces more waste than reducing and reusing. But in 1863 he created his most enduring work, when his famous illustration of “Merry Old Santa Claus” appeared in Harper’s Weekly. This popular phrase is a literal order of priorities in terms of how we can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that it first became popular to depict Santa Claus wearing a red suit. 34. Norway- Julenissen (“Christmas gnome”) Santa and Father Christmas are now considered to be the same person, though the Brits do tend to leave out beer or sherry for him rather than milk on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus is a character known and loved around the world, and every culture celebrates Christmas in a special way. What is the origin of the American Santa. 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. Sundblom’s early paintings of Santa Claus were actually based on a live model– his buddy Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. So where do all these letters to Santa ultimately go? Children from all over the state came to see him. If you love Santa Claus but don’t like immigrants, consider yourself a hypocrite. But by then the character had lost his bishop’s apparel. 50. Now, Babouschka visits Russian children on January 5, leaving gifts at their bedsides in the hope that one of them is the baby Jesus and she will be forgiven. When Father Christmas first began showing up in illustrations, he wore many different colored robes, including green, purple, blue, and brown, among others. Naturally the Hawaiian Christmas holiday has a tropical theme. 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. English children wait for Father Christmas, known to their ancestors as Christmas itself. Art and culture The 5 best Harriet Tubman sites you can visit. Father Christmas was considered controversial in those pre-reformation days after the English Civil War. Hawaiian Santa Claus and his elves wear aloha shirts instead of fur-trimmed suits. The story of Santa has been around for a long time. That night, he normally arrives accompanied by one or more angels and devils. Irving’s story may also be the first time Santa was depicted as sliding down a chimney to deliver presents. Slide 1 of 11. She was later popularized by Katherine Lee Bates’s 1889 poem “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” (the term “Goody” was short for “Goodwife,” or “Mrs.”). 39. Children all around the world today know about Santa Claus, the man who delivers gifts to every house on Christmas Eve. During the Protestant Reformation, St. Nicholas was relegated to being Jesus’ sidekick, and looked nothing like the Santa Claus of today. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. 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. Satire first sent Santa down a chimney In his satiric 1809 book A History of New York, Washington Irving did away with the characterization of Santa Claus as a … But naughty children may instead encounter Le Père Fouettard (“the father whipper”), a nasty bad guy in black robes who– as his name implies– whips children who don’t behave. 33. Children often call him “Santa no ojisan”, which means “Uncle Santa”. His indelible images were used in magazines, store displays, billboards, posters, calendars, and plush dolls, many of which are valuable collectibles today. READ MORE: Real Christmas Tree vs Fake Christmas Tree: Which is Better? Here at Green Global Travel, we like to put an emphasis on the green aspect by finding lots of little ways to make life more sustainable. 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. 19. Known as Pére Noël, the French Santa Claus has a keen sense of style. Elves called Juul Nisse are said to come from the attic, where they live, to help Julemanden. In Washington Irving’s satirical story History o… Santa Claus has been successfull in engaging a young child's sense of wonder through his unique characterizations. Get inspired to travel everyday by signing up to our daily newsletter. 46. 1/11. 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). Some 2 billion Christmas cards are sent each year in the U.S. alone, and the vast majority of these end up in the dump. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies. St Nicholas and Père Fouettard. Kriskringle came from Germany, Father Christmas from … Similarly, they also have unique names for Santa Claus as well. Claus wearing a red suit Mass on Christmas Day, everybody receives presents, often chocolate!, we want to help by providing ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you ’ d surprised! Girl-Angel sent down from heaven to give gifts tradition of kids getting their picture taken with as... Christmas as a jolly, well-nourished, bearded man dressed in a wagon pulled horses! Your carbon footprint, you ’ d be surprised the most important aspects this! 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