Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books and films.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father of Christmas and simply "Santa" is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on December 24, the night before Christmas.
However, in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas' Day, December 6.
The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of “Sinterklaas”.
PREDECESSOR FIGURES OF SANTA
ST.NICHOLAS (4th century), was a Greek Christian Bishop of MYRA now known as Demre a province in byzantine Anatolia now in Turkey. St.Nicholas mainly privileged the continental Europe i.e. Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium. He usually portrayed as Bishop with beard and canonical robes. This tradition was also followed by Martin Luther king to govern the children into Christianity.
Sinterklaas originated from the Dutch Folklore, he was seen in Netherlands and Belgium. Later came to be known as Father of Christmas and ultimately the Santa Claus. In Netherlands 36% of the population gives gift on the Sinterklaas day whereas almost all the population gets gift on the Sinterklaas day.
ODIN: Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English; Old English geola or guili) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule. The god Odin's role during the Yuletide period has been theorized as having influenced concepts of St. Nicholas in a variety of facets, including his long white beard and his gray horse Sleipnir for nightly rides, old blue-hooded, cloaked, white-bearded Gift bringer of the north, who rode the midwinter sky on his eight-footed steed Sleipnir, visiting his people with gifts. Odin transformed into Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, and then Santa Claus.
FATHER OF CHRISTMAS (England in 16th century) during the reign of king Henry the VIII. Huge man in Green or Scarlet robes lined with fur. The gifts were given to the kids on 25th of December, which coincides with Christmas. Thus changing the tradition of giving gifts on 6th December i.e. on St. Nicholas day. The father of Christmas is widely seen as the synonym of the Santa Claus.
Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St. Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the English character Father Christmas to create the character known to Americans and the rest of the English speaking world as Santa Claus. In the English and later British colonies of North America, and later in the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. Sinterklaas was Americanized into "Santa Claus" (a name first used in the American press in 1773).
In 1821, the book A New-year's present, to the little ones from five to twelve was published in New York. Itcontained Old Santeclaus, an anonymous poem describing an old man on a reindeer sleigh, bringing presents to children. Some modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the anonymous publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (better known today as "The Night Before Christmas") in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823; the poem was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.
Many of his modern attributes are established in this poem, such as riding in a sleigh that lands on the roof, entering through the chimney, and having a bag full of toys. St. Nick is described as being "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf" with "a little round belly", that "shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly", in spite of which the "miniature sleigh" and "tiny reindeer" still indicate that he is physically diminutive.
One of the first artists to define Santa Claus's modern image was Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century.
TRADITIONS AND RITUALS
In the tale of Saint Nicholas, the saint tossed coins through a window, and, in a later version of the tale, down a chimney when he finds the window locked. The hearth was held sacred in primitive belief as a source of beneficence, and popular belief had elves and fairies bringing gifts to the house through this portal.
In U.S.A and Canada children usually keep a glass of milk and cookies for santa to come, whereas in British and Australian kids give sherry and beer.
In Sweden and Norway kids keep rice porridges for Santa Claus.In Hungary, St. Nicolaus (Mikulás) comes on the night of December 5 and the children get their gifts the next morning. They get sweets in a bag if they were good, and a golden colored birch switch if not.
New Zealander, British, Australian, Irish, Canadian and American children also leave a carrot for Santa's reindeer, and were traditionally told that if they are not good all year round, that they will receive a lump of coal in their stockings.
Children following the Dutch custom for Sinterklaas will "put out their shoe"—that is, leave hay and a carrot for his horse in a shoe before going to bed—sometimes weeks before the sinterklaas avond. The next morning they will find the hay and carrot replaced by a gift; often, this is a marzipan figurine.
Naughty children were once told that they would be left a roe (a bundle of sticks) instead of sweets.Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years. These letters normally contain a wish list of toys and assertions of good behavior.
SANTA’S ADDRESS: Santa Claus's home traditionally includes a residence and a workshop where he creates—often with the aid of elves or other supernatural beings—the gifts he delivers to good children at Christmas. Some stories and legends include a village, inhabited by his helpers, surrounding his home and shop. In North American tradition (in the United States and Canada), Santa lives on the North Pole, which according to Canada Post lies within Canadian jurisdiction in postal code H0H 0H0 (a reference to "ho ho ho", Santa's notable saying, although postal codes starting with H are usually reserved for the island of Montreal in Québec).
So go ahead write a letter to him and let him fulfill your desires by bringing you gifts and you will have a great memory to treasure throughout your life…
WISH U ALL MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SOME INTERESTING POSTS!!!!!
This unfortunate wealthy wanderer made a virtual mark in United states by huge donations and studied Tabasheer from India