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Santa Claus, or Christmas Santa, is a character from the imagination who gives children gifts on Christmas Eve, Christmas Memes, on St. Nicholas Day or for the New Year, which is the case in Eastern European countries. Versions of this character, date of appearance, and his name vary from culture to culture.
Usually, Santa Claus is a cheerful old bearded sitting man dressed in a red coat who flies a sleigh pulled by reindeer. He wears a red big bag full of presents for the children who were good in the previous year.
He lives in the North Pole or Lapland. Among the Russians, Santa Claus does not have reindeer and sleds but has a companion called Snow Maiden. Santa Claus most likely originates from the legends of the old Germanic and Slavic peoples.
For Christians, Saint Nicholas is one of the inspirations for the figure of Santa Claus. According to the legend, st Nikola resurrected three children, so he is celebrated as the protector of children.
He is most famous for helping the poor, so the image of this saint is associated with giving. He is also the protector of merchants and travelers
Where Santa Claus lives?
For Protestants, who do not celebrate saints like Orthodox, during the New Year’s holidays, the character who brings gifts to children was the baby Jesus – Christkind. Then the baby Jesus was replaced by a fairy in the 19th century. The person who was chosen to give gifts to the children as Kristkind wore a gold cloak and a star wreath or a white suit.
It is interesting that the children in the part of Kristkind sing songs dedicated to Saint Nicholas, which indicates the intertwining of two Christian traditions.
In Germany, Father Christmas or Weinachtman was more represented in the northern part of Germany, and he was a pandan figure to today’s Santa Claus when children eagerly waited to receive gifts.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, Saint Nicholas has an assistant named Black Peter. The holiday of Saint Nicholas is December 6, and then the children are given presents. The gifting of children during the holidays is often accompanied by songs, which mock the events of the last year, and in which the main actor is the recipient of the gift.
In Britain, Father Christmas is the forerunner of the much more famous character Santa Claus. Some 17th-century paintings depict him as a cheerful fat bearded man dressed in long, green fur clothes representing a spirit of good merriment for Christmas.
In the colonies of Great Britain and later in the USA, versions of Santa Claus from Dutch and British culture were united. Santa eventually lost his episcopal costume and was first painted as a fat sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat. As time passed, Santa Claus became bigger and bigger.
The American cartoonist Thomas Nast painted Santa Claus in 1863, and that painting was published in a weekly. It was the first version of the modern Santa Claus as we know him today.
In some paintings from the 20th century, Santa Claus is shown making toys for children in his small workshop. It is believed that he had elves as helpers in making toys – gifts.
On the way to Lapland
In today’s American version of Santa’s sleigh, he pulls nine reindeer all over the world. Their most common names are Descher, Denser, Prancer, Vixen, Kometa, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolf.
Among the ancient Slavs, Santa Claus was an evil wizard who froze people. It is believed that he initially kidnapped the children and took them away in a big bag. In order to redeem the children, the parents had to give him gifts. As time went on, everything turned upside down. Under Christian influence, Santa Claus became kind and began to give gifts to children.
In Serbia, until the end of the Second World War, children were brought Christmas presents by Bata. The appearance of Santa Claus is related to the time of communism when he appeared as a character after the example of the Soviet Santa Claus.
Where is Santa’s address?
In the North American tradition, Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, in the territory of Canada in a house with zip code H0H 0H0 22, and in the city of North Paul in Alaska, there is a tourist attraction – “Santa’s House”.
The U.S. Postal Service uses the ZIP Code, 99705 as a promotional zip code for Santa.