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Christmas remains one of the most celebrated festivals around the world today due to so many reasons, one of which is because of it closeness to the end of the year an lastly one of which is attributed so many myths , Legends and mysteries one of which included the origin of a Christmas deity called Santa claus.
Who Is Santa Claus ?
The background of Santa Claus have been deeply rooted alongside over three figures and traditions and some of which are.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia.
Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.
He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. In continental Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany) he is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes.
During the Middle Ages, often on the evening before his name day of 6 December, children were bestowed gifts in his honor.
This date was earlier than the original day of gifts for the children, which moved in the course of the Reformation and its opposition to the veneration of saints in many countries on the 24th and 25 December.
The custom of gifting to children at Christmas has been propagated by Martin Luther as an alternative to the previous very popular gift custom on St. Nicholas, to focus the interest of the children to Christ instead of the veneration of saints.
Martin Luther first suggested the Christ kind as the bringer of gifts. But Nicholas remained popular as gifts bearer for the people.
Father Christmas was another figure used to depict Santa Claus after the era of Saint Nicholas.
Father Christmas dates back as far as 16th century in England during the reign of Henry VIII, when he was pictured as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur. He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food and wine and revelry.
As England no longer kept the feast day of Saint Nicholas on 6 December, the Father Christmas celebration was moved to the 25th of December to coincide with Christmas Day.
The Victorian revival of Christmas included Father Christmas as the emblem of ‘good cheer’.
Germanic paganism, Wodan, and Christianization.
Santa Claus have also been depicted to have solid roots in the Germanic paganism.
Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (Old English geola or giuli). With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas.
During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
The leader of the wild hunt is frequently attested as the god Wodan (Norse Odin), bearing (among many names) the names Jólnir, meaning “Yule figure”, and Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard”, in Old Norse.
Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, jolly, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, and black leather belt and boots and carrying a bag full of gifts for children.
Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve or during the early morning hours of Christmas Day
Fun Facts About Santa Claus
Santa Clause has become an idolized figure in modern times, but very few care to even know who he is. Here are mind blowing Facts Nobody ever told you about Santa Claus.
1. Coca-Cola created the modern Santa Claus
Santa Claus have been depicted with various figures but the most popular and approved was the one created by coca cola.
2. It has been discovered that boys and girls write different types of letters.
Girls generally write longer but more polite lists and express the nature of Christmas more in their letters than in letters written by boys.
3. Each Nordic country claims Santa’s residence to be within their territory.
Norway claims he lives in Drøbak, In Denmark, he is said to live in Greenland (near Uummannaq), In Sweden, the town of Mora has a theme park named Tomteland and In Finland, Korvatunturi has long been known as Santa’s home.
4. There is also a city named North Pole in Alaska where a tourist attraction known as the “Santa Claus House” has been established.
5. Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa.
During the early years he was called Saint Nicholas till the present day when he is generally referred to as Santa Claus or generally Father Christmas with the children.
6. Santa Clause originated from Saint Nicholas of Myra, Father Christmas of England and Odin from the German Mythology.
Father Christmas has its root spread across various origin and tradition one which started in Lycia , traveled as far deep in England and later settled in the German Mythology.
7. The first ever movie created to depict Santa claus was filmed In 1912 and was filmed and Leedham Bantock was the first actor to ever play Santa.
8.The largest gathering of Santa Clauses is held by Thrissur, Kerala, India .
9. In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry or beer, and mince pies instead.
10. The laughter of Santa Claus “HO HO HO” has long been an important attribute by which the character is identified.
“HO HO HO” is the popular sound Santa Claus makes when passing on new years eve.
11. Santa Claus’s home traditionally includes a residence and a workshop where he creates his gifts with the aid of elves or other supernatural who delivers to good children at Christmas.
Some stories and legends include a village, inhabited by his helpers, surrounding his home and shop.
A myth anyway!!!!.