Everyone loves the fat, lively Santa Claus with flowing beard. Every child is enamoured with this ever-laughing character that brings a variety of gifts for his small buddies. But as the children grow up they come to know that Santa Claus is just a fictitious character to charm children, or at least that’s what most of them start believing. Fortunately that is not completely true. Just read on:

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Stocking, Fireplace and poor man’s daughters (Most Probably an almost real incident)

There lived a poor man in Turkey who had three beautiful unmarried daughters. The old men did not have enough resources to pay dowry. One night the old man hung a stocking near his fireplace to dry. The next day he found a bag of gold inside the stockings that enabled him to marry off his eldest daughter. On one more occasion, he again got a gold bag inside the stocking and decided to investigate further. The investigation revealed that Nicolas used to put gold bag from the chimney that landed in a stocking near the fireplace. The grateful man told about this charity cause to everyone, despite Nicholas requesting him to keep the affair private. Hence, Nicholas soon became a legend. The tradition of keeping stockings to be stuffed with gifts can be attributed to this tradition.

Christmas and Children

One day when people were celebrating St. nicholas anniversary, a group of Arab pirates attacked, looted the church’s treasure and also took a small boy Basilios as a slave. He became a cupbearer of the emperor. The next year the abducted boy’s family was not in a state to celebrate the occasion on a big scale. However, they just followed a few customs at home and the mother prayed St. Nicholas for the boy’s well-being. Just then a miracle happened and the boy was whisked to his own home while he was still holding a golden cup of the emperor. From then onwards it can be assumed that St. Nicholas was believed to be saint of children.

How the kind-hearted St. Nicholas was turned into a Jolly natured Santa Claus

However, after protestant reformation in Europe, St Nicholas’ stories started losing the popularity they once enjoyed.  The layers of the years further obscured these tales. Here we fast-forward to the year 1773 when another milestone took place. During this year, the British forced American colonies to pay taxes without offering them a representative in Parliament.  The patriotism saw a new high in those colonies. Organizations and groups were formed to oppose British societies including religious ones. Son of Saint Nicholas was one such society. Hence, St. Nicholas was again introduced. Later on when New York Historical Society was formed, St. Nicholas became their patron saint.

However, as the popularity of St Nicholas faded away from popular culture, it became quite difficult for the people to know about authentic celebration styles of St. Nicholas’ events. An exceptional writer called Washington Irving later joined New York Historical Society who was to play an important role.

He was known for writing satirical accounts based on believable historical facts or common beliefs. Hence, he decided to take the advantage of unknown origins of celebrating St Nicholas events to fill his own creative colors and add fantasy features. Thus came out his satirical book History of New York from The Beginning of the World to the End of The Dutch Dynasty, where Sinterklaas (early Santa Claus) is an important character. During that time Sinterklaas was a saintly character who brought children a variety of gifts on Christmas. But in the Irving’s book Sinterklaas is chubby, smokes a pipe, and has a jolly nature. That was arguably among very first of the instances to give St. Nicholas a jolly makeover. Ironically, this satirical take inspired New Yorkers to celebrate the Christmas with Santa Claus as we know him today.

 

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