Definition of Santa Claus: Santa Claus is
defined as a modern mythical figure of Western Christian culture, based on the gift-giving legend surrounding Saint Nicholas. Santa Claus is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on Christmas Eve (24 December). Santa
Claus is depicted as a portly, jolly man in a red costume who delivers presents riding on an air-borne sleigh pulled by reindeer.
Fact 1: Who invented Santa Claus? The fictional character of Santa Claus
is based events that occurred during the real life of Saint Nicholas, the
celebration of the Feast of St. Nicholas (known as Sinterklaas in Holland) and
the personification of 'Father Christmas', or 'Old Man Christmas'.
Fact 2: Who invented Santa Claus? The traditions relating to Santa Claus
also resonate with the Pagan customs of the Ancient Roman festivals of
Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, the Viking Yuletide and Celtic rituals. For additional
info refer to the History of Christmas.
Fact 3: Who invented Santa Claus? The personification of
Santa Claus has emerged over many years as part saint, part pagan, part fiction
and part advertising executive's creation at Coca Cola. This article tells the
story of the famous character,
Fact 4: Who invented Santa Claus? The kindly traits
Santa Claus were based on the life of the Greek Bishop, Nikolaos of Myra (c. 270
- 346AD), who became known as Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas who was born c. 270 in
Patara, Lycia, Turkey and died on December 6, 346 and was known for his generosity, gift-giving and
his kindness to children.
Fact 5: Who invented Santa Claus? The Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas,
celebrated by the Dutch on December 6. The early Dutch colonists continued to
celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas and the Sinterklaas traditions to America
where the word 'Sinterklaas' gradually changed to "Sinter Klass" and then into
the name of "Santa Claus".
Fact 6: Who invented
Santa Claus? The personification of Santa Claus was also influenced by the
English character of 'Father Christmas' or 'Old Man Christmas' who emerged
during the Protestant Reformation that banned the veneration of Catholic saints
and eliminated the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas. Father Christmas was portrayed
as a large man who wore a scarlet robe lined with fur and a crown of holly or
Fact 7: Who invented Santa Claus? Protestant German immigrants to the New
World introduced 'Christkind', aka Christkindlein or Christkindl, meaning
"Christ-child" as the traditional Christmas gift-bringer. The word Christkindl
became known as "Kriss-kingle" and eventually "Kriss Kringle" who remained the
most the common bearer of Christmas gifts in Pennsylvania until the early 20th
Fact 8: Who invented
Santa Claus? The idea of Santa Claus became deep rooted in the human psyche
and legends and myths surrounding the character began to grow as authors began
to write stories about the character. In 1812 the American author Washington
Irving (1783 – 1859) wrote 'A History of New York' in which he described a dream
sequence which featured St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon.
Fact 9: Who invented Santa Claus? The modern traditions associated with
the Dutch Sinterklaas originated from the illustrated children's book ‘Sint
Nicolaas en zijn knecht’ (Saint Nicholas and his helper) which was written in
1850 by a schoolteacher named Jan Schenkman (1806–1863).
Fact 10: Who invented Santa Claus? The Dutch legend involved children
leaving their shoes near the fireplace at night and filling them with hay and
carrots for Sinterklaas's flying, dapple grey horse called Amerigo. His helpers,
called the Pieten, delivered the children's presents through the chimneys of the
Fact 11: Who invented Santa Claus? In 1822 Clement Clarke Moore wrote the
famous poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" also known today by its opening line "T'was
the night before Christmas" in which he described 'St. Nick' as a "little old
driver" riding a "miniature sleigh".
Fact 12: Who invented Santa Claus? George P. Webster wrote the poem
'Santa Claus and his Works' inspired a cartoonist called Thomas Nast to create
pictures of Santa Claus that are very similar to the modern day image of the
character. George P. Webster firmly established Santa Claus as a maker of toys
and identified the North Pole as his home.
Fact 13: Who invented Santa Claus? During the 19th century Santa Claus
was often shown wearing coats of different colors including purple, green and
blue, as well as red. This changed when an illustrator named Haddon H. Sundblom
(1899 - 1976) started working for the Coca-Cola company. In 1931 "Sunny"
Sundblom produced the first picture of Santa Claus in a red coat that would
be reproduced in subsequent Coca-Cola Christmas advertising campaigns.
Fact 14: Who invented Santa Claus? The enduring image of a merry, kind,
old man with rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and a red coat is the Santa Claus that
children now believe in.