Where Did Saint Nicholas Come From

Santa Claus

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle, has a rich and illustrious history that is immersed in Christmas customs. Although he is best known today as the cheerful guy in red who distributes gifts to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, Saint Nicholas’s history dates back to the 3rd century, when he roamed the earth and was designated as the patron saint of children by Pope Nicholas I. More information is available on the history of Santa Claus, from his earliest origins to the shopping mall Santas of today.

The Legend of St. Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus

It is possible to trace the origins of Santa Claus back hundreds of years to a monk by the name ofSt. Nicholas. A.D. 280 at Patara, near Myra, which is now part of Turkey. It is thought that Nicholas was born there somewhere about this period. St. Nicholas, who was widely loved for his devotion and charity, became the focus of several stories. Some claim that he spent his whole inheritance on charitable endeavors, including visiting needy and ailing people on his travels around the country. St.

Nicholas’s popularity grew throughout time, and he came to be renowned as a defender of children and mariners around the world.

  1. Making major purchases or getting married on this day was traditionally regarded to be a positive omen.
  2. Nicholas had risen to the top of the religious hierarchy in Europe.
  3. Nicholas’ reputation remained favorable, particularly in the Netherlands, even after the Protestant Reformation.
  4. Nicholas and What Was His Mission?

Sinter Klaas Comes to New York

Towards the close of the 18th century, St. Nicholas made his first forays into popular culture in the United States of America. An article in a New York newspaper indicated that groups of Dutch families had congregated to commemorate the anniversary of his death in December 1773 and again in December 1774. In Dutch, Nick was known by the moniker Sinter Klaas, which is a shortened version of the name Sint Nikolaas. The term Santa Claus sprang from this nickname (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). In 1804, during the annual meeting of the New York Historical Society, John Pintard, a member of the society, handed woodcuts of St.

  1. Stockings packed with gifts and fruit draped above a fireplace decorate the backdrop of the etching, which is now widely recognized as belonging to Santa Claus.
  2. Nicholas as the patron saint of the city of New York.
  3. Since the holiday’s resurgence in the early nineteenth century, gift-giving has played a prominent role in the celebration, with the majority of gifts being directed toward children.
  4. Stores began advertising Christmas shopping around 1820, and by the 1850s, newspapers were producing special sections for holiday commercials.
  5. It was only a matter of time before retailers began luring youngsters and their parents into their stores with the promise of a glimpse of a “real” Santa Claus.
  6. They began by dressing up jobless guys in Santa Claus outfits and dispatching them onto the streets of New York to seek money from passing motorists.
  7. Watch this video to see what shopping was like in the 1950s.
  8. During the film’s production, a young Natalie Wood played a small child who believes Kris Kringle (played by Edmund Gwenn, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance) when he claims to be the actual Santa Claus.

Since its inception in 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has featured almost every Macy’s Santa, and fans of all ages continue to queue up to meet him in New York City and at Macy’s stores across the country, where they can pose for photos on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

PUBLICATIONS: Vintage Photographs from The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade SEE MORE:

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Christmas poem for his three daughters, written in 1822 by Episcopal priest Clement Clarke Moore, entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” which has become known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822 for his three daughters. In part because of the frivolous nature of the subject matter of Moore’s poem, which he was first hesitant to publish, our current picture of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly body and the miraculous ability to ascend a chimney with a simple nod of his head came into being.

With “An Account of a Visit from St.

In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew inspiration from Moore’s poem to develop the first depiction of Santa Claus that is comparable to our present image.

Nast is the one who provided Santa with his brilliant red coat trimmed with white fur, the North Pole workshop, the elves, and his wife, Mrs.

Santa Claus Around the World

A Christmas poem for his three daughters, written in 1822 by Episcopal priest Clement Clarke Moore, entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” which has become known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822 for his children. In part because of the frivolous nature of the subject matter of Moore’s poem, which he was first hesitant to publish, our present picture of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly body and the miraculous ability to ascend a chimney with a single nod of his head came into being.

With “An Account of a Visit from St.

On the basis of Moore’s poem, political cartoonist Thomas Nast created the first depiction of Santa Claus that we now associate with him in our current era.

His brilliant red coat trimmed with white fur, the North Pole workshop, the elves, and Santa’s wife, Mrs. Claus, were all a result of Nast’s inventions.

Christmas Traditions in the United States

In the United States, Santa Claus is frequently shown as flying from his home to his home on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to the youngsters in his care. He is accompanied by his magical sleigh and reindeer, who include Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph, who is the most well-known of them all. Santa enters each home through the chimney, which is why empty Christmas stockings—once empty socks, but now often dedicated stockings made specifically for the occasion—are “hung by the Chimney with care, in hopes that St.

  1. Santa enters each home through the chimney, which is why empty Christmas stockings—once empty socks, but now often dedicated stockings made specifically for the occasion—are “hung by the Chimney with Stockings can be stuffed with candy canes, other sweets, or miniature toys for the holidays.
  2. Claus, as youngsters write letters to Santa Claus and watch Santa’s movement around the world as he travels around the world.
  3. Santa Claus maintains a “naughty list” and a “good list” to select who should get gifts on Christmas morning, and parents frequently refer to these lists as a means of ensuring that their children are acting in the best interests of the family.
  4. Santa Claus is on his way to town.
  5. He knows when you’re awake and when you’re asleep.
  6. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: It Was During World War II That Santa Claus Was Deployed

The Ninth Reindeer, Rudolph

It took more than a century for Rudolph, the “most renowned reindeer of them all,” to be born, more than 100 years after his eight flying colleagues. Robert L. May, a copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department store, was the brains behind the invention of the red-nosed marvel. In 1939, May created a story-poem about Christmas to help get customers into his business during the holiday season. May presented the narrative of Rudolph, a young reindeer who was harassed by the other deer because of his enormous, bright red nose, in a rhyme pattern similar to Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” in which he was teased by the other deer because of his large, shining red nose.

Rudolph’s message, which said that if given the opportunity, a liability may be transformed into an asset, was well received.

After being reprinted in 1946, the book went on to sell more than three and a half million copies worldwide.

Gene Autry recorded the song, which went on to sell more than two million copies. Throughout the years, the narrative has been translated into 25 different languages and turned into a television movie, narrated by Burl Ives, that has been entertaining audiences every year since 1964.

Saint Nicholas

From c.301 to c.400, the civilization flourished. Myra Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Saint Nicholas?

Known variously as Nicholas of Myra and Nikolas of Bari, (flourished 4th century in Myra, Lycia, Asia Minor; Western feast day December 6; Eastern feast day December 19), St. Nicholas is one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is traditionally associated with the festival of Christmas. On the 6th of December, known as St. Nicholas Day, children in many nations receive gifts. He is considered to be one of the patron saints of children and sailors.

  1. Historically, he was born at the ancient Lycian seaside city of Patara and journeyed to Palestine and Egypt as a child, according to legend.
  2. He was imprisoned and most likely tortured during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian, but he was liberated under the administration ofConstantine the Great after a long period of imprisonment.
  3. After his death, his remains were interred in his church at Myra, where his shrine had become widely renowned by the sixth century.
  4. This move dramatically raised the saint’s fame across Europe, and Bari quickly became one of the most busy pilgrimage destinations on the continent.
  5. The dating of one such relic fragment, a bit of hip bone from a church in the United States, was validated in 2017 by scholars, who determined that it belonged to the 4th century.
  6. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and the gift-giving Santa Claus of the holiday season.
  7. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and his life and times.

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Nicholas’s reputation for generosity and charity gave birth to traditions of miracles that he performed for the impoverished and destitute, which he shared with his followers.

During the Middle Ages, Nicholas was revered across Europe, and his devotion was widespread.

The emperor Justinian I of Rome erected a church to him in Constantinople (now Istanbul) as early as the 6th century, one of thousands of churches dedicated to him throughout Europe.

Nicholas, c.

Photographs courtesy of PHOTOS.com/Getty Images Plus After the Reformation, devotion to Nicholas faded away in all Protestant nations of Europe, with the exception of Holland, where his legend endures under the name Sinterklaas (St.

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Nicholas).

As a result of the country’s English-speaking majority adopting the moniker Santa Claus, Sinterklaas’s legendary narrative of a kind elderly man was combined with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished misbehaving children and rewarded good children with gifts.

He has been the patron saint of the gift-giving celebration of Christmas ever since.

In the United Kingdom, Santa Claus is referred to as Father Christmas instead of Santa Claus. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Melissa Petruzzello was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

The History of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

Known variously as Nicholas of Myra or Nikolas of Bari, (flourished 4th century in Myra, Lycia, Asia Minor; Western feast day December 6; Eastern feast day December 19), St. Nicholas is one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is traditionally associated with the festival of Christmas. On the 6th of December, known as St. Nicholas Day, children in various nations are given presents. In addition to children and sailors, he is a patron saint of the sailor community.

  1. Historically, he was born at the ancient Lycian seaside city of Patara and journeyed to Palestine and Egypt as a child, according to the legend.
  2. During the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian, he was imprisoned and presumably tortured, but he was liberated under the administration ofConstantine the Great.
  3. After his death, his remains were interred in his church at Myra, where his shrine had become widely renowned by the sixth century.
  4. This move dramatically expanded the saint’s fame across Europe, and Bari quickly became one of the most busy pilgrimage destinations on the continent.
  5. The dating of one such relic fragment, a bit of hip bone from a church in the United States, was validated in 2017 by experts, who determined that it belonged to the fourth century.
  6. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and the gift-giving Santa Claus of the holiday season.
  7. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who lived in the ancient world.

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As a result of Nicholas’s reputation for generosity and kindness, stories of miracles that he did for the poor and unfortunate have grown up around him.

Devotion to Saint Nicholas spread throughout Europe throughout the Middle Ages.

The emperor Justinian I of Rome erected a church to him in Constantinople (now Istanbul), which was the first of thousands of churches dedicated to him throughout Europe.

Nicholas (c.

Saving Myra from Famine is a detail from one of the panels.

Nicholas).

As a result of the country’s English-speaking majority adopting the moniker Santa Claus, Sinterklaas’s legendary narrative of a kind elderly man was combined with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished misbehaving children while rewarding good children with gifts.

He has been the patron saint of the gift-giving celebration of Christmas ever since.

Santa Claus is referred to as Father Christmas in the United Kingdom. In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the editors write about: Melissa Petruzzello has made the most recent revisions and additions to this page.

Jolly Old St. Nicholas?

Every year on December 6, the faithful gather in towns all over the world to commemorate St. Nicholas Day, with the major celebrations taking place in Europe. While there are many different depictions of St. Nicholas, none of them look anything like the red-cheeked, white-bearded elderly guy who may be found everywhere today. Modern forensic face reconstruction techniques were used to produce one of the most striking depictions of the genuine St. Nick, who lived in the third and fourth centuries and lived in the third and fourth centuries.

  1. Nicholas’s remains continues to this day, but it has long been believed that the bones of the Greek bishop were stolen by Italian sailors during the 11th century and transported to the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola on the Italian coast’s southeast coast.
  2. ” Could the Remains of Santa Claus Be in This Turkish Church?” (For speculations on other probable resting sites for St.
  3. Wilkinson gave Santa’s original namesake a human face, one with a terribly damaged nose, which may have occurred during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, according to historical accounts.
  4. Two-dimensional data was used to reconstruct the size and shape of the facial muscles that originally covered Nicholas’s skull, and three-dimensional data from two-dimensional data was used to reconstruct the shape of Nicholas’s skull itself.

When working from photographs, Wilkinson admits that “we are bound to have lost some of the level of detail you would get from working from life,” but he believes that “this is the closest we are ever going to get to him.” The project’s feature film, The Real Face of Santa, which aired on BBC Two, was a documentary about the project.

From bishop to gift giver

How did this St. Nicholas become the bringer of Christmas presents from the North Pole, where he now resides? The first saint was a Greek who lived in the late third century, approximately 280 A.D., and was martyred. He was elevated to the position of bishop of Myra, a tiny Roman town in modern Turkey. However, during the Great Persecution in 303, when Bibles were burned and priests were forced to recant their Christian beliefs or face execution, Nicholas gained a reputation as a fiery, wiry and uncompromising supporter of church teaching.

  1. Nicholas’s renown lasted for a long time after his death (which occurred on December 6 in the mid-fourth century, about 343) because he was linked with several miracles, and veneration for him continues to this day, regardless of whether or not it is associated with Christmas.
  2. Nicholas rose to prominence among the saints as a result of his role as patron saint of a large number of organizations.
  3. During the most well-known version of the story, three young girls are spared from a life of prostitution when young Bishop Nicholas sends three bags of gold to their indebted father, which may be used to pay for their dowries.
  4. Nicholas walked into an inn whose keeper had recently murdered three lads and pickled their mutilated remains in cellar barrels.
  5. Not only did the bishop detect the crime, but he also brought the victims back to life.
  6. Nicholas was the undisputed bringer of presents and the toast of celebrations centered on his feast day, December 6, and he was never challenged.
  7. He also made certain that the children stayed on the right side of the law by encouraging them to pray and demonstrate good behavior.
  8. “That was an issue,” Bowler said.
  9. Bowler stated that, in many situations, the responsibility rested on the shoulders of infant Jesus, and the date was changed from December 6 to Christmas.

Consequently, the Christ child was frequently accompanied by a frightening companion to assist him with the carrying of gifts and intimidating of children, which did not seem suitable coming from the infant Jesus.” Some of these frightening Germanic creatures were modeled on Nicholas once more, this time as a dangerous sidekick rather than as a saint, like Ru-klaus (Rough Nicholas), Aschenklas (Ashy Nicholas), and Pelznickel (Pelznickel) were (Furry Nicholas).

This group of personalities either expected youngsters to behave well or subjected them to punishments such as whippings or kidnappings.

Despite their apparent dissimilarity to the cheerful guy in red, these vibrant figures would eventually play an important role in the formation of Santa himself. (This is related to: “What Is the Meaning of Krampus? The Horrific Christmas Devil is explained in detail “) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Coming to America

In the Netherlands, children and families just refused to give up the tradition of St. Nicholas bringing gifts. They transported the tale of Sinterklaas with them to the New World colonies, where the legends of the hairy and terrifying Germanic gift bringers persisted as well. However, Christmas in early America was very different from the present celebration. In New England, the event was avoided, and in other parts of the country, it had taken on the appearance of the pagan Saturnalia that had formerly held the same spot on the calendar.

  1. And there was no specific, mystical gift-giver who appeared.” Then, during the first decades of the nineteenth century, everything changed owing to a group of poets and authors who worked hard to make Christmas a family celebration—by renewing and rebuilding the figure of St.
  2. Nickerbocker’s History of New York, written by Washington Irving in 1809, depicted a pipe-smoking Nicholas floating above the roofs in a flying wagon, giving presents to good girls and boys and switching presents with bad ones.
  3. With this apparition, “Santa Claus” has made his public debut, according to Bowler.
  4. Nicholas’ supernatural gift-giving, which has been stripped of all religious qualities.
  5. Originally written for his six children, Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit From St.
  6. Moore had no intention of contributing to the burgeoning Santa Claus myth.
  7. “It went viral,” Bowler said of the video.
  8. The photograph, which Bowler described as “absolutely the likeness of George Washington riding on a broomstick,” was taken by him.
  9. Santa’s cheery, chubby, grandfatherly look was mostly conceived by Thomas Nast, the renowned political cartoonist of an era in which there were many of them.

According to Bowler, “He’s done an excellent job of taming these characters from the late medieval period that were like something out of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.”

The Santa problem

When it came to giving up St. Nicholas as a gift-giver in the Netherlands, children and families were adamant. In the New World colonies, they brought Sinterklaas with them, and the traditions of the hairy and terrifying Germanic gift bringers persisted to this day. In contrast to today’s Christmas, Christmas in early America was a quite different occasion. Throughout New England, the celebration was derided, and elsewhere it had evolved into something like to Saturnalia, the pagan festival that had formerly held the same spot on the calendar.

  1. “Even in England, it had devolved into this state of affairs.
  2. Nicholas—by restoring the tradition of giving.
  3. When an anonymous illustrated poem entitled “The Children’s Friend” was published in 1821, it went a long way toward establishing the contemporary Santa Claus and linking him with the holiday season.
  4. Nicholas’ supernatural gift-giving, which has been stripped of any religious qualities.
  5. It was for his six children that Clement Clarke Moore penned “A Visit From St.
  6. He had no idea of contributing to the burgeoning Santa Claus craze at the time.
  7. As Bowler put it, “It went viral.” Although the poem is well known, it still leaves plenty to the imagination, and Santa appeared in a number of varied outfits, sizes ranging from small to huge, and disguises throughout the nineteenth century.
  8. “It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century,” he said, that the picture of Santa became established as an adult clothed in red with white fur trim, traveling forth from the North Pole on a reindeer-drawn sleigh, and keeping an eye on children’s behavior.
  9. However, Nast “left him half-sized and in what I believe to be very terrible long johns,” Bowler continued.

“What he’s done is very much tame these Grimm’s Fairy Tales-type figures from the late medieval period,” Bowler remarked of the author’s accomplishment.

Saint Nicholas

It is believed that Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who cared for the impoverished and ill, and he served as inspiration for the iconic figure of Santa Claus.

Who Was Saint Nicholas?

It is believed that Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who cared for the impoverished and ill, and he served as inspiration for the figure of Santa Claus.

Early Life

Saint Nicholas was born about the year 280 in Patara, Lycia, which is now a part of the modern-day Turkish Republic. The young man lost both of his parents when he was a small boy. He apparently utilized his fortune to assist the destitute and sick. He was a pious Christian who ultimately rose to the position of bishop of Myra, which is today known as Demre.

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Reputation

During the year 280, Saint Nicholas was born in Patara, Lycia, which is now a part of Turkey. He was the son of a wealthy merchant. While still a child, he lost both of his parents and is said to have spent his fortune to help the needy and sick. He was a pious Christian who went on to serve as bishop of Myra, which is today known as Demre, where he was born.

Death and Legacy

Saint Nicholas is supposed to have died on December 6, 343 according to a number of different accounts. His miracles and charitable work for the poor expanded throughout the world as word of his miracles and charitable work for the destitute spread. He gained notoriety as a defender of children and seafarers, and he was also linked with the distribution of gifts. At least until the Reformation in the 1500s, he was a popular saint throughout Europe. The Reformation was a theological movement that resulted in the foundation of Protestantism, which rejected the practice of honoring religious figures such as saints.

  • The Dutch continued to commemorate the feast of Saint Nicholas, which took place on December 6.
  • They would find the presents that Saint Nicholas had left for them when they woke up the next morning.
  • While in America, Saint Nicholas underwent several transformations: Sinterklaas became Santa Claus, and instead of presenting presents on December 6, he became an integral part of the Christmas season.
  • Santa Claus, as seen in an 1881 painting by cartoonist Thomas Nast, contributed to the tradition of Saint Nicholas by donning a red outfit with white fur trim.
  • In 2017, a team from the University of Oxford radiocarbon tested a piece of a pelvic bone that was thought to have belonged to Saint Nicholas.
  • The results of the test indicated that the bone fragment, which belonged to an American priest, belonged to the saint’s time period.

When the bone was identified, archaeologists wanted to compare it to other bones that had been attributed to Saint Nicholas, including those that had been held in a crypt at Bari, Italy, since the 11th century.

Fact Check

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St. Nicholas, Santa Claus & Father Christmas on whychristmas?com

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How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

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  • Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner (also known as Dunder and Donder), Blitzen (also known as Blixem, Blixen, and Blicksem)
  • Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid
  • Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet

Among the characters are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner (who has also been referred to as Dunder and Donder), Blitzen (also referred to as Blixem, Blixen, and Blicksem), Donner (who has also been referred to as Dunder and Donder), Donner (who has also been referred to as Dunder and Donder), and Donner (who has also been referred to

Santa Claus and Coca-Cola

Harper’s Weekly published an article about St. Nicholas in January 1863. There’s a Christmas Urban Legend that claims that Coca-Cola created Santa’s red costume and that they may even ‘own’ Santa, according to the legend. This is certainly NOT the case! St Nicholas wore his Bishop’s crimson robes long before coke was developed, and he was the first person to do so. He wore a variety of hues (red, green, blue, and brown fur) during Victorian times and before that, but red was always his favorite!

  1. He was dressed in a ‘Stars and Stripes’ attire for this occasion!
  2. In designing Santa’s appearance, Nast drew inspiration from historical knowledge about Santa, the poem ‘A Visit from St.
  3. Nicholas in January 1881.
  4. From 1900 to 1930, this image of Santa became increasingly prominent, with more painters depicting Santa in his red and white suit throughout this time period.
  5. He took the idea of Nast’s Santa and made him even larger than life and more cheery, replacing the pipe with a glass of Coca-Cola, and so created the renowned Coca-Cola-holding Santa!
  6. Since 1931, Coca-Cola has included Santa Claus in its advertising campaigns.

In 1995, they debuted the ‘Coca-Cola Christmas truck’ as part of the ‘Holidays are coming’ television advertisements. The red truck, decked out in lights and emblazoned with the iconic ‘Coke Santa’ logo on its sides, has become a well-known aspect of recent Christmas history.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The actual narrative of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born in the third century in the hamlet of Patara in Asia Minor, and lived until his death in the fourth century. The location was Greek at the time, and it is currently located on the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’s rich parents, who had taught him to be a devoted Christian, perished in an epidemic when he was still a child, leaving him to raise alone. Nicholas followed Jesus’ command to “sell what you have and give the money to the poor,” and he utilized his whole inheritance to help the poor, the ill, and those who were in need of assistance.

  1. Bishop Nicholas was well-known across the country for his kindness to people in need, his fondness for children, and his care for sailors and ships, among other things.
  2. The jails were so overcrowded with bishops, priests, and deacons that there was no place for the true criminals—murderers, thieves, and robbers—to be held.
  3. He died on December 6, AD 343 in Myra, and was buried in his cathedral church, where a rare relic known as manna developed in his tomb, which is now preserved at the museum.
  4. The anniversary of his death has been commemorated as St.
  5. The life and activities of St.
  6. These narratives assist us in comprehending his exceptional nature and the reasons why he is so cherished and regarded as a defender and helper of those who are in need.
  7. In ancient days, a young woman’s parent had to provide something of value to potential spouses in the form of a dowry.

A lady was unlikely to marry if she did not have a dowry.

On three separate times, a mysteriously appearing bag of gold came at their home, supplying them with the dowries they need.

This resulted in the tradition of youngsters hanging stockings or laying shoes outside their doors in anticipation of gifts from Saint Nicholas.

As a result, three gold balls, which are frequently shown as oranges, are one of the emblems associated with St.

As a result, St.

One of the first traditions that depicts St.

On the eve of the holy saint’s feast day, the people of Myra were busy commemorating the saint when a gang of Arab pirates from Crete sailed into the area, causing chaos.

As they were about to leave town, they kidnapped a little boy named Basilios and sold him as a slave.

The next year, Basilios served the monarch by giving him wine in an ornate golden cup, which the king appreciated.

As the next St.

She was convinced, though, to have a small observance at home, complete with silent prayers for Basilios’s well-being and safety.

In front of the scared kid, St.

Imagine the delight and amazement on his parents’ faces as Basilios miraculously reappeared in front of them, still carrying the king’s golden cup.

Nicholas safeguarding children, which has since become his principal duty in the Western world.

A vengeful innkeeper stole and killed them, then concealed their bodies in a huge pickling tub for safekeeping.

In the middle of the night, he had a dream about the crime and woke up, calling the innkeeper.

French children’s literature tells the story of three tiny children who wandered away from their play until they became lost, seduced, and caught by a wicked butcher.

Nicholas arrives and implores God to bring them back to life and reunite them with their family.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of children and their defender.

When he was younger, Nicholas went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to seek the divine guidance.

When the ship was returning by sea, a powerful storm threatened to sink it.

It took the sailors by surprise when the wind and seas suddenly calmed, saving them all from certain drowning.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of sailors and voyagers.

He performed several acts of kindness and generosity in secret, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

As a result, he is revered in the East as a wonder worker, and in the West as the patron of a wide range of people, including children and sailors as well as bankers and pawnbrokers as well as scholars and orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges and paupers as well as marriageable maidens and students as well as sailors and victims of judicial errors as well as captives, perfumers, and even thieves and murderers!

  • He is well-known as a friend and protector to those who are in difficulty or in need (see list).
  • Nicholas as their patron, traveled the world spreading legends of his favor and protection.
  • Nicholas chapels were constructed at a number of seaports.
  • As a result of his baptism, Grand Prince Vladimir I carried the tales of Saint Nicholas and the devotion to Saint Nicholas to his motherland, where Nicholas quickly rose to the position of most cherished saint.
  • Nicholas’ grave in Myra became a renowned pilgrimage destination as a result of his death.
  • The Italian towns of Venice and Bari competed for the relics of St.
  • Sailing from Bari, a seaport on the southeast coast of Italy, in the spring of 1087, seamen were successful in removing the bones and transporting them to the city of Bari.

Nicholas’ crypt, an impressive church was built, and many faithful pilgrims made the journey to pay their respects to the saint, who had rescued countless people, including children, prisoners, sailors, famine victims and many others, through his compassion, generosity, and the countless miracles attributed to his intercession.

  • Throughout the years, Catholics and Orthodox have continued to respect and honor St.
  • St.
  • The legends of St.
  • Boys costumed as bishops collected donations for the destitute in Germany and Poland—and occasionally for themselves, too!
  • Nicholas came in the Netherlands and Belgium on a steamer from Spain, where he rode a white horse on his gift-giving rounds.
  • Saint Nicholas is commemorated on the 5th of December, on the eve of the day before, by exchanging sweets (which are tossed through the door), chocolate initial letters, little presents, and riddles.
  • Nicholas’ horse, expecting that the saint will exchange the items for little gifts.
  • Who is St.
  • an analysis of the language on this page produced a word cloud To see a bigger version of this photograph, please click here.

Wordle.net was used to make this image. Henri Gheon’s Saint Nicholas, published by Sheed & Ward in 1936, with illustrations by Elisabeth Ivanovsky. Copyright courtesy of Elisabeth Ivanovsky, with gracious permission to use for the exclusive benefit of St. Nicholas Center. return to the beginning

Who Is Santa, and What Does He Have to Do with Christmas?

During the holiday season, Santa’s image can be seen everywhere, but do we truly grasp the history and origins of one of the most popular traditions in the world? What do we answer when the inevitable question of “Who is Santa?” is raised by the children? We can utilize this question from our children as a teaching opportunity, just as we can use any other inquiry from them. Examine the history of Santa Claus, including how his meaning has changed through time and some of the rituals that have developed around his name, and how he came to be known.

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The Origin of Santa Claus

The name is a formal title. Interklaas is the Dutch name for St. Nicholas, which is spelled Santa Claus in the English language. Despite the fact that the current Santa Claus is connected with a realm of fiction, the historical St. Nicholas was a pious man who was recognized for his compassion and charity. Nicholas was born around the year 280 at the city of Patara, in the region of Asia Minor, according to the best estimates. Later on, he was appointed bishop of Myra, which is located in modern-day Turkey.

  1. Nicholas was born in Patara, Greece, in the third century to rich Christian parents (a harbor city in modern day Turkey).
  2. According to legend, Nicholas’ parents were devoted Christians who had longed for a child for a long time.
  3. As an only child, he received a tremendous deal of love and particular care from his parents.
  4. Though a loss of this magnitude could cause some to turn away from God, Nicholas appears to have grown closer to him as a result of it.
  5. Nicholas was left with a substantial inheritance, and he determined that he would put it to good use in order to serve God.
  6. St.
  7. Nicholas in Novgorod, 1294.

Nicholas is the patron saint of children.

Nicholas was very undoubtedly imprisoned at this period, and he was almost certainly tortured as a result of his religious beliefs.

It is interesting to note that following the death of Emperor Galerius, Constantine, the first Christian emperor, rose to become the unchallenged ruler of the Western world.

Following the cessation of persecution and the establishment of new religious freedom, Christians began to face new obstacles.

Constantine understood the need of Christian unity, and in 325 A.D.

Nicholas of Myra is identified as one of the bishops who will be present at this gathering. Nicholas could never have imagined that his name would one day be more widely known than the names of any other participants in the council that resulted in the development of the renowned Nicene Creed.

History of St. Nicholas and Christmas

Several anecdotes about Nicholas’ life have been told, and many of them stress his goodness and charity. His death on December 6 ushered in the beginning of a new custom of gift-giving in his memory. St. Nicholas Day is still celebrated on December 6 in many countries, but in others, such the United States, the traditions connected with the day have been incorporated into Christmas celebrations. According to many Christians, it was only logical that a festival dedicated to giving would be combined with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given to the world.

  • Nicholas had begun to divert too much focus away from Christ.
  • In German, the nameKriss Kringleis the English translation of the German name meaning “Christ Child.” Ironically, in the United States, the name Kriss Kringle has come to be associated with St.
  • Nick, Santa Claus, and even the English nameFather Christmas, despite its origins in Germany.
  • Describe the development of Santa Claus as we know him today in the United States.

However, the “chubby and plump” appearance of Santa Claus in America is generally attributed to the 19th century poem “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,” which was written in an attempt to create a more friendly image of Santa and assure children that they had “nothing to fear” when it came to the arrival of Santa Claus.

  • However, even if the modern Santa Claus has degraded into a secularized character surrounded by imagination, his image may serve to remind us of the actual St.
  • Rather than detracting from God’s glory, the objective of all saints (and all Christians) is to bring honor to him.
  • When Jesus ascended to heaven and his bodily presence on earth was no longer present, he entrusted Christians with the responsibility of being his “body” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
  • Nicholas led a life that, according to all accounts, assisted others in realizing the truth of Christ.

Traditions of St. Nicholas Past and Present

Christians began to offer gifts on December 6 (St. Nicholas’ feast day) in honor of the patron saint of gifts, St. Nicholas the gift giver. Over time, the tradition evolved into what it is today. On the night of December 5, St. Nicholas would arrive in his red bishop’s robe and fill boots with gifts for the good boys and girls of the neighborhood. St. Nicholas was a figure of terror for both wicked lads and females. St. Nicholas became a deterrent to misbehaving youngsters in areas of Europe that were heavily influenced by Catholicism.

In Switzerland, St.

They were tied together in a bag and sent back to Spain by St.

A priest dressed in festive attire would visit the houses of misbehaving children, threatening them with rod-beatings.

Over time, Saint Nicholas was elevated to the status of patron saint of nations such as Russia and Greece, towns such as Fribourg and Moscow, and a variety of individuals including children, sailors, unmarried females, merchants, and pawnbrokers, among others (the three gold balls hung outside pawn shops are symbolic of the three bags of gold).

  • Luther disapproved of saints’ days, arguing that they were based on stories and superstitions, and hence should be avoided (and a virulent strain of moralism we might add).
  • Ironically, the term Kriss Kringle, which was drawn from Luther’s celebration of the Christ Child, has become merely another moniker for St.
  • If you enjoy Christmas and all of its trappings, including Santa Claus, stockings, and presents, you can thank the Dutch.
  • Nicholas and had outlawed the celebration of Christmas completely.
  • When it came to the Netherlands, Sinterklaas had an agreement with Sint Nicolaas.
  • Others suggest that the character of Black Pete is black due to the fact that he falls down the chimney and gets a face full of soot, which many believe is a racist caricature inherited from slavery.
  • The poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” published in 1823, is credited for transforming Santa Claus into the figure we know today in the United States.

* Kevin DeYoung’s book “Who Was St. Nicholas?” contains an excerpt. This article first published on GospelCoalition.com and was reprinted with permission.

Santa Claus and Jesus

I have vivid recollections of Santa dreams and Christmas jingles from my youth. Despite the fact that I totally agree that the emphasis should be on Christ throughout the Christmas season, I was perplexed as to whether it was essential to throw out all of the old books and ornaments that had any connection to Santa. A number of concepts popped into my head while I pondered my options. Here are some of them: For starters, youngsters are fascinated by imagination. As a result, talking animals, fairies, magic, and other such elements appear in a large number of children’s books.

  • Parents may play a vital part in their children’s development as they age and learn to discern between imagination and reality.
  • Is this anything that applies to Santa fantasies?
  • Tolkien and C.S.
  • Tolkien was a father of four children and was most known for his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • He added drawings of Father Christmas, the North Polar Bear, and the North Pole that he had created himself (which he depicted as a literal pole).
  • The North Polar Bear went up to the thin top to get it down, despite my warnings, and he succeeded in doing so.

The North Polar Bear fell through the hole it created in the dining room with my hood over his nose, and all of the snow fell off the roof into the house and melted, putting out all of the fires and running down into the cellars where I was gathering this year’s gifts, breaking the North Polar bear’s leg.

I anticipate that his temper has been strained and that it will be repaired by next Christmas.” 1 Even the North Polar Bear would occasionally write a letter to the youngsters and mail it to them.

Author C.

Lewis, a close friend of Tolkien’s, is most known for his Chronicles of Narnia series, in which he portrays a more serious Father Christmas.

The following is a recounting of Father Christmas’s arrival: A sledge was pulling it, and the reindeer were wearing bells on their harnesses.

And on the sledge was a man who was instantly recognizable by everyone who saw him for the first time.

Everyone knew who he was because, even though individuals of his kind are only seen in Narnia, photos of them and mentions of them can be found in our world — the world on the other side of the wardrobe door — and everyone recognized him.

Some of the images of Father Christmas that we see across the world are just amusing and pleasant in nature.

He was so huge, and he was so happy, and he was so genuine, that they were all completely silent.

This is a sign that the Witch’s power is waning.” It is then that he begins to provide presents and even delivers “for the moment” sugar, milk, and tea.

‘Long live the true King!’ he said, cracking his whip, and he and the reindeer and the sledge and everything else were out of sight before anybody could grasp what had happened.” Clearly, both Tolkien and Lewis were enthralled by the imagination that surrounded the holiday season.

The uniqueness of our American Santa Claus is that his origins may be traced back to a historical figure, St.

With the abundance of pictures of Santa Claus that American children are exposed to during the Christmas season, it is possible to discuss the actual St.

The generosity of the historical St.

One of the most well-known legends about St.

Giving gifts in Santa’s name is essentially simply a ruse to conceal the fact that the gifts are being given.

Nicholas delivered presents, and it is even more consistent with Jesus’ admonition that we should carry out our charitable acts in secret.

(Matthew 6:4, for example.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve informed my children that the real St.

My children do not always understand the boundaries between what is true and what is false, reality and fantasy, non-fiction and fiction, despite the fact that I make a point of emphasizing these contrasts.

When that time comes, I look forward to assisting children in realizing that our Christian tale is far superior to fiction since it is miraculous, historical, and TRUE!

A great deal of the information in this article is derived from their work.

Nicholas.

(learn more about thisChristmas book).

This article is a part of our broader Christmas and Advent resource collection, which is focussed on the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ and the celebration of the Christmas season.

What really is Christmas?

The history of the 25th of December The Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, as well as Scripture verses Advent is defined as the period between the months of December and January. The Symbolism of the Christmas Tradition

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