Thursday, December 6, 2018

Holiday Facts no.1: Santa Claus

I asked you like a week ago if you would like to have some 'cultural' posts that are not really related to Stardoll. Many of you gave me positive feedback, so here comes the first one.

Today I'm going to write about Santa Claus / Father Christmas / St. Nicholas. 

So who was the man behind this name? 
St. Nicholas was a bishop, who lived in Myra (today's Turkey) around the 4th century. He was a very rich man, but helpful as well.
He secretly gave gifts to the poor. The most famous story about St. Nicholas tells how the custom of hanging up stockings to put presents in first started!

There was a poor man who had three daughters. The man was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry so his daughters couldn't get married. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house. This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married. The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.
Even though he was so kind, and made a Saint, he got exiled during the reign of Diocletian. He died on the 6th of December.

How Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus and Father Christmas? 

His story and tradition became unpopular later, in the 16th century, but someone had to bring presents to children, so he became 'Father Christmas' or 'Old Man Christmas', an old character from stories plays during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe. 

In some countries including parts of Austria and Germany, present giver became the 'Christkind' a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the newborn baby Jesus.

In the early USA, his name was 'Kris Kringle' (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers in the USA took the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle and St Nicholas became 'Sinterklaas' or as we now say 'Santa Claus'!

Many countries, especially ones in Europe, celebrate St. Nicholas' Day on 6th December. Children leave clogs or shoes out on the 5th December (St. Nicholas Eve) to be filled with presents.
St. Nicholas became popular again in the Victorian era when writers, poets, and artists rediscovered the old stories.

In 1823 the famous poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' or 'T'was the Night before Christmas', was published. The poem describes St. Nicholas with eight reindeer and gives them their names. They became really well known in the song 'Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer'.

The UK Father Christmas and the American Santa Claus became more and more alike over the years and are now one and the same.

Some people say that Santa lives at the North Pole. In Finland, they say that he lives in the north part of their country called Lapland.

But everyone agrees that he travels through the sky on a sledge that is pulled by reindeer, that he comes into houses down the chimney at night and places present for the children in socks or bags by their beds, in front of the family Christmas tree, or by the fireplace.

I got some sweets today from my roommate, and I guess at home my family is going to give me some more. It doesn't matter how old you are, I think, a little kindness makes you feel better.

I hope you enjoyed this little summary and will read the upcoming ones.

At what time do you usually celebrate Father Christmas / Santa Claus / Saint Nicholas day? What kind of presents do you get?

No comments

© Stardoll's Most Wanted... | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig