History Of Santa Claus
December 25, 2011 by staff
History Of Santa Claus, Most kids believe in Santa Claus, at least until a grown-up, big brother or someone announces that the holly jolly man from the North Pole isn’t real. Or is he? History.com states the Santa Claus legend goes all the way back to about 280 A.D. in Patara, the area that today is Turkey. St. Nicholas was a monk who supposedly gave away all his inheritance and traveled around helping the poor and sick.
Among those he helped were three poor sisters who were about to be sold into slavery or prostitution by their father. He gave them a dowry so they could be married.
December 6, the anniversary of his death in 313, became the day to remember St. Nicholas. The History of Christmas website states he eventually became known as the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia and Greece.
By the end of the 1400s he was the third most loved religious figure, only behind Jesus and Mary, as more than 2,000 chapels and monasteries carried his name.
Stories of him continued to grow and he would get the name Santa Claus, taken from Sinster Klass, from how the Dutch pronounce St. Nicholas. He also got his red suit instead of a bishop’s cloak.
The North Pole website states that the legend traveled with settlers to New York in the 17th century. Author Washington Irving, a New Yorker, wrote about the saint who came each Christmas Eve on horseback.
It was another writer and New Yorker, as described by the New York Historical Society , who brought the modern Santa Claus myth to fruition.
Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem about St. Nicholas, “the patron of old Dutch New York,” for his six children. That poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” is now known as “Twas the night before Christmas.”
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