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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Legend of Santa Claus

You might know him as St. Nick or Santa, but he has also been known as Father Christmas and of course the full name of Santa Claus. Here in the US he has been portrayed as a portly (nice word for fat) white bearded man who has a wife named Mrs. Santa Claus.  Of course we are all familiar with his traditional dress consisting of a red coat with a white collar and cuffs, plus the red trousers and big black belt.

There is also pretty much a consensus (in the US and Canada) that he lives in the North pole with a bunch of magical elves (who makes the gifts) and 9 flying reindeer. The myth that Santa Claus travels around the world in one night delivering toy and other presents to children who have been well behaved has had a long history.  Part of the myth which is spoken of very often is that if a child has been naughty then Santa will leave a lump of coal in that child's stocking.

But I will bet that many of you don't know that the modern day Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas.  Sinterklaas was based on a gift giver called Saint Nicolas.  A nearly identical story has been attributed toGreek Orthodox and Byzantine Christian folklore.

The tradition of Santa Claus can be traced back to the 1820.

So now you know a bit more about the origin of Santa Claus.  Next I will try to find some information about how Christmas stockings became a custom.

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