Updated December 25th, 2021 at 11:24 IST
Is Santa Claus real? Here's how the legend of Santa Claus came into being
Is Santa Claus real? Santa is the figure who is regarded as the traditional patron of Christmas globally, and who is also believed to brings gifts for children
- 3 min read
It is that time of the year when winter is at its peak, and the days and nights are nearly freezing and so we know that Christmas is here. While the elders are busy doing up their houses and making traditional dishes for Christmas celebrations, children eagerly wait for Santa Claus. Santa is the figure who is regarded as the traditional patron of Christmas globally, and who is also believed to brings gifts for children on Christmas Eve. But, the legend of Santa Claus is inspired by a real man, Father Christmas. Read ahead to know more about this story-
Is Santa Claus real?
Yes, Santa Claus is real. The real name of Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas, also known as Kris Kringle. The story dates back to the 3rd century. Saint Nicholas was born in 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. The Saint donated all his inherited wealth and often travelled along the countryside, helping the poor and sick.
One of the most famous stories about his pure heart is about the time when he saved three girls from being sold into prostitution by their own father, by providing the girls with a dowry so that they could get married. Over the years, Nicholas became popular for his deeds and came to be known as the protector of children. December 6 is commemorated as Saint Nicholas Day. His feast day was traditionally considered as a lucky day to make large purchases or for marriage purposes.
Santa Claus inspired by Father Christmas
Father Christmas is a legend who grew popular over the years, who was once a real man and was later regarded as a religious figure and then pop culture transformed his image into the Santa Claus we know today. There is a very interesting story behind Santa Claus. Santa Claus is known to be a jolly man spreading happiness around this time, every year. He is said to live at the North Pole with his wife, Mrs Claus.
It is believed that he spends the entire year making toys for children with the help of his elves, after receiving letters from children requesting their favourite gifts. On Christmas Eve, Santa takes off from the North Pole, in a sleigh drawn by eight reindeer, to distribute gifts at each kid’s house. Santa Claus also loves to feast. According to legends, after sliding down from the chimney into the house, Santa munches on cookies and has milk left for him by children.
Why Father Christmas is known as Santa Claus?
Saint Nicholas came to be known as Santa Claus because of his Dutch nickname, Sintar Klaas. A member of the NewYork Historical Society, John Pintard in 1804, distributed woodcuts of Saint Nicholas at the annual meeting of the society. The woodcut depicted how the daily life of Santa Claus was, and also showed that it had a striking similarity to how people perceive him to be nowadays. Washington Irving popularised the Sintar Klaas tales further in 1809 when he referred to Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York.
Published December 24th, 2019 at 10:59 IST