Père Noël is responsible for filling the shoes of French children. Since then, the story has been translated into 25 languages and been made into a television movie, narrated by Burl Ives, which has charmed audiences every year since 1964. https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/santa-claus. Saint Nicholas was known for giving gifts to the poor. Santa Claus History. Bible. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Although Santa Claus is primarily based upon St. Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian bishop from Lycia (now in Turkey), the figure is also strongly influenced by early Norse religion. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Santa-Claus. Stockings can be filled with candy canes and other treats or small toys. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Dutch are credited with transporting the legend of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) to New Amsterdam (now New York City), along with the custom of giving gifts and sweets to children on his feast day, December 6. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions ...read more, The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s. 31. Christkind or Kris Kringle was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved Swiss and German children. Santa Claus Land opened on August 3, 1946, becoming the first themed amusement park in the world. Although some of Moore’s imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his poem helped popularize the now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve in “a miniature sleigh” led by eight flying reindeer to leave presents for deserving children. All Rights Reserved. Coined by Yale Hirsch, founder of the Stock Trader’s Almanac, the Santa Claus Rally describes what happens over the last five trading days of the … © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Several years later, one of May’s friends, Johnny Marks, wrote a short song based on Rudolph’s story (1949). There was a problem with that printed phone number, however. Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary character originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy to well-behaved children, and either coal or nothing to naughty children. Santa Claus is said to live at the North Pole with his wife, where he spends the year making toys with the help of his elves. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children. This image was developed by illustrator Haddon Sundblum for the Coca-Cola Company’s Santa Claus advertisements from 1931, though it has roots in 19th-century illustrations by Thomas Nast. READ MORE: Meet Krampus, the Christmas Devil Who Punishes Naughty Children. Sundblum’s Santa was a portly white-bearded gentleman dressed in a red suit with a black belt and white fur trim, black boots, and a soft red cap. “Miracle on 34 Street” was remade in 1994 and starred Lord Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson. There he receives letters from children asking for Christmas gifts. Those familiar Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since. In fact, when Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. The first known representation of Santa dates back to the 3rd century, with an early Christian Greek bishop named Saint Nicholas. The modern image of Santa Claus has been refined again and again. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. ... a big, fat guy in a wagon pulled by horses ring in the United and... Know if you love Santa Claus was not the only St. Nicholas-inspired gift-giver to an... German word have been ringing bells on the anniversary of his inherited wealth traveled. His inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor are similar figures Christmas... 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