Santa Clause | Santa Claus .com | Santa History | Santa Clause | Moon Signs | Santa | Santa Clause the Movie
Santa Clause | Santa Clause 2 | Santa Clause | Santa Clause | Santa Clause | The Santa Clause | Santa Clause 2 Wiki
Divine Goddess | Wiki Languages | Zoroastrianism | Trinity | Divine Language | Mother Divine | Divine Mercy
Music Divine | Divine Language | Wiki Divine | Divine Illumination | Divine Revelation | Marians | Divine Office
Sanskrit Divine Language | Information Language | Divine Right Kings | Divine Rosicrucian | Divine Freedom | Enlightenment | Divine Art
Divine Music | Wiki English | Divine Paradox | Astro Psychology | Bruce Lee | Divine Ministries | Divine Mission
Music Divine | Indian Divine Music | Father Divine | Enlightenment | Tachyons Time Travel | Divine Liturgy | Articles Divine
Carnatic Music YouTube | Divine Music | Divine Silence | Cursor Homepage | Find The Divine | Swami Krishnananda | Divine Astrology

Santa Claus Too Original Santa Claus

Original Santa Claus Home
Original Santa Claus - Chapter Nine


Original Santa Claus
The Santa Claus; a legend about a real person blown all out of proportion. How Santa Claus evolved into a Godlike figure with magic powers, exercising dominion over time & space.

The Divine Languages An Introduction
Santa Claus, legendary bringer of gifts at Christmas. He is generally depicted as a fat, jolly man with a white beard, dressed in a red suit trimmed with white, and driving a sleigh full of toys towed through the air by eight reindeer. Santa (sometimes called Saint Nicholas and Saint Nick) is said to visit on Christmas Eve; entering houses through the chimney to leave presents under the Christmas tree and in the stockings of all good children. Although this familiar image of Santa Claus is an American invention of the 19th century, it has its ancient European roots and continues to influence the celebration of Christmas throughout the world.

The Divine Languages The Origins of The Legend
The historical Saint Nicholas was venerated in early Christian legend for saving storm tossed sailors, defending young children, and handing out generous gifts to the poor. In the third century A.D. Saint Nicholas was born in the ancient Lycian city of Patara, an important city on the Mediterranean. Born as the only child of a very wealthy family, he was orphaned at an early age when both parents died of the plague. He grew up in a monastery and at age 17 he became a priest. Many stories are told of his generosity as he gave his wealth away, in the form of gifts, to the poor, especially children.

Legends tell of him either dropping bags of gold down chimneys or throwing the bags through the windows where they landed in the stockings hung from the fireplace to dry. Some years later Nicholas became a bishop, hence the bishop's hat or miter, long flowing gown, white beard and red cape. After his death he was elevated to sainthood. Eventually the Catholic Church started celebrating Christmas and St. Nicholas was incorporated into the season.

The Christian figure of Saint Nicholas incorporated various pagan gift giving figures such as the Roman Befana and the Germanic Berchta and Knecht Ruprecht. The saint was called Sankt Nikolaus in Germany and Sanct Herr Nicholaas or Sinter Klaas in Holland. In these countries Nicholas was sometimes said to ride through the sky on a horse. He was depicted wearing a bishop's robes and was said to be accompanied at times by Black Peter, an elf whose job it was to whip the naughty children.

The feast day of Nicholas "when presents were received" was traditionally observed on December 6. After the Reformation German Protestants encouraged veneration of the Christkindl (Christ child) as a gift giver on his own feast day, December 25. When the Nicholas tradition prevailed, it became attached to Christmas itself. Because the saint's life is so unreliably documented, Pope Paul VI ordered the feast of Saint Nicholas dropped from the official Roman Catholic calendar in 1969. The term Christkindl evolved to Kriss Kringle, another nickname for Santa Claus. Various other European Christmas gift givers were similar to Saint Nicholas e.g. Père Noël in France, Julenisse in Scandinavia, and Father Christmas in England.

The Divine Languages The American Origins
The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinter Klaas, brought by settlers to New York in the 17th century. As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as “St. A Claus,” but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback each Eve of Saint Nicholas.

This Dutch American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas, more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas written by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore's phrase “lays his finger aside of his nose” was drawn directly from Irving's 1809 description.)

The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper's magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. (The original Harper's Santa Claus depiction may be viewed be clicking here.) Nast added such details as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and Santa's list of the good and bad children of the world. A human sized version of Santa Claus, rather than the elf of Moore's poem, was depicted in a series of illustrations for Coca Cola advertisements introduced in 1931. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toy shop workers are elves. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, was invented in 1939 by an advertising writer for the Montgomery Ward Company.

The Divine Languages The Modern Influences
The fully detailed modern image of Santa Claus plays a part in Christmas celebrations around the world. People are reminded of Santa Claus through advertising, greeting cards, decorations, and the annual appearance of Santas in department stores and shopping malls (in some cases accompanied by Mrs. Claus and Santa's elves). The figure of Santa Claus occurs in motion pictures, for example: "Miracle on 34th Street," (1947) and in more modern motion pictures such as "The Santa Clause" (1995). In songs, such as “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” (1932) and “Here Comes Santa Claus,” (1947). Children write letters to Santa Claus and set out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve as a snack for Santa.

To reconcile the legend of Santa Claus with the religious significance of Christmas, some Christians emphasize that the modern figure is derived from legends about a saint who symbolized love, caring, and generosity. Although most adults view Santa as the embodiment of a spirit of giving, some would argue that the modern image of Santa Claus conflicts with the true meaning of Christmas and promotes greed and commercialism. Both points of view are probably true.

Click Next

HOME 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Original Santa Claus
Original Santa Claus

Santa Claus Too