Initially published anonymously, the famous poem– which is better known today as “Twas The Night Before Christmas”– was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. Though the essence of Santa Clause is same in every countries, various attributes are added or reduced in his description according to the culture and tradition of the country. 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 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). 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. 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. Instead, Père Noël brings toys after the evening Mass 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. The program starts on December 1, but the actual Santa-tracking simulation starts at midnight annually on December … In the United States, they’re sent to Santa Claus, Indiana! 70+ Names of Santa Claus Across the World Washington Irving was the first to include Santa Claus in his book, Diedrich Knickbocker’s History of New York. Japan- Hoteiosho (a god or priest who bears gifts) 20. It simply depended on which Santa Claus mythos you happened to believe. This is what we will be focusing on in this article. 30. With Christmas fast approaching, we want to help by providing ways to reduce waste created by this increasingly commercialized holiday. Netherlands- Kerstman It wasn’t until the late 1800s that it first became popular to depict Santa Claus wearing a red suit. Santa Claus around the world. For one, Santa Claus greets the world every year wearing his trademark red and white. If they’ve been good, he gives them a basket of presents, often containing chocolate and fruit. 35. 19. 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. Father Christmas fills the … But there are countless other local names, with most more commonly associated with December 6 (Niklolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day) than Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. 50. St. Nicholas has been the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint for centuries. Schenkman’s book, Sint-Nicolaas en zijn knecht (“Saint Nicholas and his Servant”), is also credited with introducing what would become traditional Dutch images of Sinterklaas. Kriskringle came from Germany, Father Christmas from … Hawaiian Santa Claus and his elves wear aloha shirts instead of fur-trimmed suits. The children usually leave a drink for each of the Three Kings, as well as some food and drink for their camels. 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. In particular, the origin of Santa in the Catholic Saint Nicholas, the 4th century Greek bishop who was known for his charitable gift-giving and countless miracles. 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. Elves called Juul Nisse are said to come from the attic, where they live, to help Julemanden. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior. 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. 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. Atlanta Christmas Events: 50 Things to do for Christmas in Georgia. 36. With his native land divided between Protestants and Catholics, Luther wanted to rid Christmas of all its Catholic customs. 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 … 33. People portraying Zwarte Piet typically wear blackface make-up, colorful clothes from the Renaissance era, curly-haired wigs, red lipstick, and earrings. 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. Although Santa/St. In 1809, Washington Irving updated the image of Sinterklaas from a bishop to a heavy Dutch sailor with a pipe in his book "A History of New York," a parody of New York’s Dutch population and culture. 32. 10. Actually, in Santa Claus’s history, you’d be surprised. 37. Popularized by an 1850 book written by Amsterdam-based teacher Jan Schenkman, the character is said to be black because he’s a Moor from Spain. 22. The book, which depicts Scrooge reluctant to give Bob Cratchit coal for the fire, is also thought to have inspired the “lump of coal for naughty kids” tradition. The accompanying poem reads, “Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend! He gathers gifts for hundreds of millions of children, and deliver them in one night. 1. 27. 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. Both of those figures traveled via a noble, white steed. 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. 23. The story that Santa lives at the North Pole may have been a Thomas Nast creation. Introduced in 1823 in The Night Before Christmas, Santa’s reindeer were originally named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. Children all around the world today know about Santa Claus, the man who delivers gifts to every house on Christmas Eve. 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. Countless kids around the world send letters to Santa Claus each Christmas season. 2. Next you should try to reuse what you have already bought once its initial purpose has run its course. One of the first artists to define Santa Claus’s modern-day image was Thomas Nast, a German-born cartoonist of the 19th century. But by then the character had lost his bishop’s apparel. 15. In Morocco he is known as Black Peter. In the period leading up to Christmas, French children write letters to Père Noël in class at school, asking him for certain presents. In Japan, Santa Claus is called Santa Claus or just “Santa”. If you love Santa Claus but don’t like immigrants, consider yourself a hypocrite. 44. 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. 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. This new version of the folkloric creature was obviously inspired by the Santa Claus traditions that were gradually spreading to Scandinavia. 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. White Rock Beverages used Santa to sell mineral water in 1915, and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923. Recycling should generally be used only as a last resort, because it still produces more waste than reducing and reusing. 11. 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. 21. He almost certainly had an oil skin tone, brown eyes, and grey/silver hair. 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. 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. 9. During the Protestant Reformation, St. Nicholas was relegated to being Jesus’ sidekick, and looked nothing like the Santa Claus of today. Brazil- Papai Noel 5. 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 Belgium, presents are given to children only, but to almost all of them, on Sinterklaas Day. 43. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good. In Germany he was known as Ru-laus (Rough Nicholas), Aschenklas (Ashy Nicholas), or Pelznickel (Furry Nicholas). Before we get into that, let’s explore how the name Santa Claus even came to be. In recent years, some Dutch have started to celebrate Christmas Eve with Santa as well. They’re known as Aschenmann, Bartl, Boozenickel, Hans Trapp, Klaubauf, Belsnickel/Pelznickel, Ruhklas, and Knecht Ruprecht, and all of them are pretty darn frightening. 7. Where did he come from? A fun fact is that, in 1962, a law was passed in France decreeing that all letters written to Santa would be responded to with a postcard so that when a class writes letters, each pupil gets a response. 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. He keeps his checklist in a big, red book he carries with him. Early illustrations of Santa Claus often pictured him as a stern, commanding disciplinarian holding a birch rod. READ MORE: Real Christmas Tree vs Fake Christmas Tree: Which is Better? 3. This is the case of Australia, where it is said that Santa Claus … Legend in the Alpine countries holds that Krampus comes to punish the naughty children. Santa Claus is known to have Turkish roots; he can be traced back to 280A.D in Patara near Myra. 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. For small children in the Netherlands, Sinterklaasavond (St Nicholas evening) is much more important than Christmas. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” has been a popular mantra of the environmentally conscious movement since the 1970s. And families around the world will be opening presents and gathering around a … 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. This can be done by purchasing less stuff. It is true that the American version of Santa is rapidly catching on abroad, but in addition to Mr. Claus many countries still celebrate their own unique Christmas characters. Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize a modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising. United Kingdom . Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir’s food with gifts or candy! According to some traditions, children would place their boots near the chimney, filling them with carrots, straw, or sugar for Sleipnir to eat. 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. Always the inquisitive kid, I had so many questions: Who was Santa Claus? Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. To replace St. Nicholas, he introduced das Christkindl, an angelic Christ Child who would bring gifts to good girls and boys. 3. There are no presents under the tree for French kids on Christmas Day. In Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway, the original bringer of gifts at Christmastime was the Yule Goat. … Santa Claus is a character known and loved around the world, and every culture celebrates Christmas in a special way. Many of Sundblom’s original paintings can now be seen at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. Sundblom’s early paintings of Santa Claus were actually based on a live model– his buddy Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. Poland- Swiety Mikolaj (St. Nicholas) 32. 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. Italy- Babbo Natale The mispronunciation stuck making Sinterklaas into Santa Claus. 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. The tradition of kids getting their picture taken with Santa dates back to at least 1918. 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. Father Christmas first became known outside the UK as “the Ghost of Christmas Present” in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Though Santa Claus and his eight reindeer shimmy down chimnies across America on Christmas Eve, he's hardly the only mythical being who comes by around the holidays. It is the story of Sinterklaas that the modern celebration of Santa Klaus is based. But this isn't the case for everyone - here's how different countries around the world represent Santa Claus. Ranging all the way back to the 4th century, Saint Nicholas has been shaped through mythological, religious, and cultural influences. Dunder and Blixem were later changed to Donner and Blitzen. includes certificate of authenticity. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies. 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). Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. Every year millions of children around the world anxiously wait for the arrival of Santa Claus. What they have in common: they bring gifts to people during the wintertime. If they’ve been bad, the devil might give them a lump of coal. 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. 14. His indelible images were used in magazines, store displays, billboards, posters, calendars, and plush dolls, many of which are valuable collectibles today. Russia also has Grandfather Frost. 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 … In this book Irving described Santa as a jolly man who rode in a wagon pulled by horses. Like St. Nicholas, he’s elderly, with long white hair and a full beard. The legend was based on a bishop named St. Nicholas, who was born in Turkey almost 2,000 years ago. Some of his awe-inspiring feature that fascinates are: he is virtually omnipresent and can visit hundreds of millions of homes in one night. 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. 49. 6. Hungary- Mikulas (St. Nicholas) 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. World's largest independently owned Ecotourism / Green Travel / Sustainable Travel / Animal & Wildlife Conservation site. He was famous for his generous and anonymous gifts to the poor. Art and culture The 5 best Harriet Tubman sites you can visit. The saint is also commonly known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, due to the many miracles attributed to his intercession. Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. 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 Syria children's gifts come from the youngest camel on January 6th, which is Three Kings Day. Belgium- Pere Noel 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. Swedish children wait eagerly for Jultomten, a gnome whose sleigh is drawn by the Julbocker, the goats of the Thor, the god of thunder. The popular department store Santa tradition dates back nearly 130 years. 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. On Christmas Day, everybody receives presents, but often without the help of Sinterklaas. This happened first in Britain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and eventually in Germany and Japan. Children often call him “Santa no ojisan”, which means “Uncle Santa”. 28. Two writers in American literature helped make Santa Claus an American tradition. 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. Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, including Langbarðr (“long beard”) and Jólnir (“Yule figure”). Eventually, the use of Christmas stockings began to replace boots. The four most popular names are Weihnachtsmann, Klaus, Nickel, and Niglo, each of which is more popular in a different region of the country. In the 1840s, an elf in Nordic folklore called “Tomte” or “Nisse”–  a short, bearded man dressed in gray clothes and a red hat– started to deliver the Christmas presents in Denmark. 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. Santa Claus has many names across the world. 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 mispronunciation stuck making Sinterklaas into Santa Claus. When scientists reconstructed his face using forensic technology, they discovered that the future saint had a badly broken nose. Santa Claus has many names across the world. 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. 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! In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. The government, which was controlled by Puritans, wanted to abolish Christmas and its traditional customs because they considered it a Catholic holiday. After asking the children if they’ve been naughty or nice, he asks them to sing a song or recite a poem. Santa Clause has helped people get fascinated and enchanted by the nurturing, age-old myths and fables of their culture. 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. 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. 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. The text was so successful that this new representation of Saint Nicholas was adopted around the world! The story of Santa has been around for a long time. Santa Claus has been successfull in engaging a young child's sense of wonder through his unique characterizations. Many children put a boot, called Nikolaus-Stiefel, outside their front doors on the night of December 5 to December 6 . She is said to be the reincarnated form of Henriette de Montbéliard, the Countess of the County of Montbéliard. 46. The older I got, and the more I learned about Santa, the more I came to treasure the Christmas spirit he represented and the importance of keeping it in our hearts all year round. Recycled Christmas cards crafts are a great way to reuse a common holiday-related waste product. He wears a long red cape over a white bishop’s vestment, carrying a ceremonial shepherd’s staff. The figure later known as Father Christmas first appeared in Christmas his Masque, a 1616 play written by Ben Jonson. 40. 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. 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.”). Washington Irving was the first to include Santa Claus in his book, Diedrich Knickbocker’s History of New York. 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