You all know the jolly, white-bearded, red-suited sleigh riding Santa Claus who delivers toys and gifts to children and families all over the world on Christmas Eve. So much remains a magical mystery, we reveal some interesting and fun facts about Santa Claus.
There was a generous man called St Nicholas. He was the Bishop of Myra in the year 270 in what is now Turkey. He tried to keep his generosity a secret, but many knew that he gave money to the families of poor girls so they could get married. He also gave out treats and coins to children. He began to leave these gifts in their shoes, which the children left out for him.
He must have begun to travel, because the Dutch began to tell of this St Nicholas, which translates to Sinterklaas. He traveled from house to house to deliver treats to children on the night of December 5.
In the 16th century the Germans celebrated the cold winter by exchanging gifts on the feast day of Christkindl on December 25th. This day became the popular day to celebrate the season and inspire cultures all over the world to be generous.
St Nicholas began to be known by many different names in all these countries as he began delivering presents all over the world.
Names Around the World
The English pronounced the Dutch word Sinterklaas as Santa Claus, so that is where he got his name as you know him today.
He is also known by many as Kris Kringle. This comes from the German word for ChristKind, from their original festival celebrations. He is also sometimes called Father Christmas in England.
In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren. In France, he is Pere Noel. In Italy, he is known as Babbo Natale. And in Spain, Papa Noel.
In Sweden, they call him Jultomten and Pã Norsk or Julenissen in Norway. In Finland he is called Joulupukki, though this name used to refer to a Yule Goat. Yule is the Scandinavian word for Christmas.
In the Netherlands, they have their own Sinterklaas who visits in November, where children leave their shoes out at night and find them filled with gifts the next morning. Then early in the evening of December 24th, Kerstman comes with gifts and children open their presents that night.
Fun Facts about Santa Claus
He used to wear green robes and then purple, blue and brown and other colors too. Red became the favorite color of his Santa suit when he started wearing it in the late 1800's.
The first time the world heard of Santa’s Reindeer was in 1823 in a poem called ‘The Night Before Christmas.’
Santa Claus first showed up at a department store in 1890 in Massachusetts and children came from all over the state to see him.
Of course, he can’t be at every department store and Christmas event now. So there is a Santa Claus University where students learn how to be a professional representative of Santa.
Santa has to make about 842 million stops to deliver all his gifts on Christmas Eve and travels 218 million miles.
The most popular cookies left out for Santa are Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oreos.
Merry Christmas to All
Though there are different beliefs and names, and many mysteries about Santa Claus, he remains the same generous man from his early days as St Nicholas. He brings joy and happiness into the lives of children everywhere and magic into our homes during the winter of the Christmas Season.