Well, we know: Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas, bringing gifts to children. But would you like to know more? Perhaps something to tell the children during these enchanted days? For example: Santa Claus’s popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries.
The Dutch are credited with transporting the legend of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) to New Amsterdam (now New York City), along with the custom of giving gifts and sweets to children on his feast day, December 6 – and in Netherland Saint Nicholas still brings gifts to the children in this day. According to Britannia encyclopaedia, the current depiction of Santa Claus is based on images drawn by cartoonist Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly beginning in 1863. Nast’s Santa owed much to the description given in the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”), first published in 1823.
What does Santa Claus look like?
Today’s most common depiction of Santa Claus is of a portly white-bearded gentleman dressed in a red suit with a black belt and white fur trim, black boots, and a soft red cap with white fur trim. This image was developed by illustrator Haddon Sundblum for the Coca-Cola Company’s Santa Claus advertisements from 1931, though it has roots in 19th-century illustrations by Thomas Nast, as we said.
Where does he live?
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. On Christmas Eve he loads his sleigh with toys and flies around the world, drawn by eight reindeer, stopping at each child’s house; he slides down the chimney and leaves the gifts, refreshing himself with the milk and cookies left for him by the household’s children.
The Ninth Reindeer, Rudolph
Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was born over a hundred years after his eight flying counterparts. Rudolph has a red nose because when once Christmas Eve turned foggy and Santa is worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver gifts that night, Rudolph saved Christmas by leading the sleigh by the light of his red nose. Rudolph’s message — that given the opportunity, a liability can be turned into an asset — proved popular.
Santa Claus Around The World
18th-century America’s Santa Claus was not the only St. Nicholas-inspired gift-giver to make an appearance at Christmastime. There are similar figures and Christmas traditions around the world. Christkind or Kris Kringle was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved Swiss and German children. Meaning “Christ child,” Christkind is an angel-like figure often accompanied by St. Nicholas on his holiday missions. In Scandinavia, a jolly elf named Jultomten was thought to deliver gifts in a sleigh drawn by goats. English legend explains that Father Christmas visits each home on Christmas Eve to fill children’s stockings with holiday treats. Père Noël is responsible for filling the shoes of French children. In Italy, there is a story of a woman called La Befana, a kindly witch who rides a broomstick down the chimneys of Italian homes to deliver toys into the stockings of lucky children.
Is it possible to meet Santa Claus?
Of course! This year we at Seasons will be offering you this exceptional meeting: on 4, 10 and 18 December Santa Claus is coming to Seasons Chelsea Bistrot and will be delivering presents to all the children who are there from 4 to 6pm. We are waiting for you to experience this magical moment together!