Does Santa Claus have enemies

Christmas - Where is Santa Claus from?

Where is Santa Claus from?

Where does Santa Claus come from? Not from Iceland, not from Greenland, not out of the woods - Santa Claus comes from Turkey. Because the historical model for the figure was St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra on the Mediterranean coast, who died on December 6, 343. There are many legends about him. So he helped a poor man who wanted to sell his three daughters in his need: at night he crept to the family house and threw a bag of money into the chimney - hence the custom of giving presents. Defused versions hide the fact that the poor man wanted to send his daughters into prostitution.

What does Coca-Cola have to do with Santa Claus?

Coca-Cola made Santa Claus known all over the world. In 1931 the Coca-Cola Company commissioned the draftsman Haddon Sundblom to draw "Santa Claus" for a Christmas advertising campaign. He designed a grandfather guy with a long beard, red coat and white fur collar. However, he wore the company's white and red brand colors by chance, because they had already established themselves as the colors of Santa Claus in the USA in the 1920s. A retired driver salesman from the company was the inspiration for the facial features. Until 1966, Sundblom created a different Santa Claus motif every year. In the later works he even created Santa Claus in his own image: he simply gave him his own facial features. This image spread across the globe as the epitome of Santa masculinity.

Santa Claus with red coat

Red coat, long beard and blissfully rosy cheeks: he didn't always look as cute as he does today. He used to be a mixture of Reinhold Messner and Hermann van Veen. The US writer Washington Irving described him in his book "Knickerbocker's Stories" in 1809 as a man with a "low hat with a wide brim", who wore Flemish breeches and smoked a pipe. No wonder, because Dutch settlers brought St. Nicholas with them to America in the form of their Dutch "Sinter Klaas". The Santa Claus dress that we are familiar with today was only gradually standardized in the USA.

Where does Santa Claus live?

He has changing offices - including in 21709 Himmelpforten near Stade. The post office knows six other addresses of Santa Claus, including 31137 Himmelsthür near Hildesheim. However, the Finns firmly believe that he resides with his elves in Mount Korvatunturi. A Finnish radio show revealed this in 1927, and today every Finnish child knows the story. But nobody has yet found the secret entrance to the mountain.

Is Santa Claus Catholic or Protestant?

It fluctuates: A folklore survey from 1932 showed that he had replaced the Christ Child in the majority of Protestant families in northern and eastern Germany. However, this had found asylum with the Catholic families in the south and west - as a supplement to Nicholas, who continued to come on December 6th. Today the denominations differ when it comes to the question "Santa Claus or Christ Child?" barely.

Is his father a German?

Today's Santa Claus with a long beard and big belly actually comes from the USA. The American cartoonist Thomas Nast shaped the way Americans thought of him. His drawings appeared in the American magazine "Harper's Weekly" from 1863 onwards. Many consider Nast to be the inventor of political caricature. But "Santa Claus" became the most popular of his characters.

"Merry Old Santa Claus" by Thomas Nast - published in Harper's Weekly in 1881. Source: Thomas Nast

With the drawings, Nast kept memories of his childhood in the Palatinate Landau alive. There the little ones were told that fat old Belzenickel with the long beard was bringing presents for Christmas. At the age of six, Nast had emigrated with his mother in 1864.

Is Santa Claus always on time?

Most of the time - even though Martin Luther messed up his schedule. In the Middle Ages, children received gifts on St. Nicholas Day. The reformer rejected the veneration of saints, however, and giving was postponed to the day of the birth of Christ. In Catholic areas, St. Nicholas came on December 6th, in Protestant areas the "Christ Child" came at Christmas. In the 19th century the figure of Santa Claus arose, who was first depicted in Catholic areas with a bishop's staff and cap - like the Catholic Saint Nicholas. However, he came on Christmas Eve - like the Evangelical Christ Child.

Does Santa Claus have enemies?

Yes. And even in the Vatican. Pope Paul VI In 1969, the St. Nicholas Festival was deleted from the official calendar of the Catholic Church because the life story of the saint is too poorly documented. With that the original figure of Santa Claus was abolished from the highest authority. This has not done any harm to the commercialized customs around the figure.

How did he get his reindeer?

A poem by Clemens Moore describes Santa Claus in 1822 as a chubby old goblin in fur clothes who lands on the roof in a reindeer sleigh. The verses have been translated into many languages. So the story about the reindeer got around the world.

Who wrote a hymn for Santa Claus?

Softly trickling snow, the green dress of the Christmas tree and of course the lovely boy with curly hair - everything is sung about, only Santa Claus is ignored by most poets. But Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote "Tomorrow Santa Claus will come" in 1835. The author became known with two other long-running hits: The "Song of the Germans" and the - lyrically relatively simple - "A little man stands in the forest".

Who are his nasty friends?

Santa Claus is a friendly guy who brings gifts. But he trundles through the winter world with a sinister friend who punishes and even thumps up. One provides grace, the other provides justice. The villain is called differently depending on the region: Hans Muff, Rasselbock or Knecht Ruprecht. This whipping boy, however, often merges with the "good" figure: That is why Santa Claus usually carries the rod himself when he appears alone. In Austria and Bavaria, the Krampus moves from door to door, puts bits of coal in front of the front door for naughty children and occasionally harasses them pretty rough. However, already on St. Nicholas' Day on December 6th.

Did the Nazis Believe in Santa Claus?

No. You handled him rather roughly. Like everything that had Christian roots, they tried to replace it with supposedly Germanic traditions. They wanted to make a neo-pagan solstice celebration out of Christmas, and they even rewrote the song "Quietly trickling snow": Instead of "just hear how lovely it sounds / rejoice, the Christ Child is coming soon" it was now: "Faith in Germany awakens, / breaks through the dark night. " Knecht Ruprecht still seemed Germanic enough to them, because one saw in him a further development of the god Wotan with his white horse. Santa Claus wanted to replace the tour with an ominous "midsummer man".

Was Santa Claus a communist?

At least one fellow traveler. In the fifties, the GDR socialists tried to transform Christmas into a festival of peace without a Christian component. They appeared as guardians of old traditions: "We will not allow the old German Christmas customs to be replaced by the American cultural barbarians with standardized Christmas packages with Coca-Cola bottles," ranted the "Neues Deutschland" in 1951. The rulers groped for Santa Claus not because they saw him as a purely worldly legendary figure. At the East Berlin Christmas market he performed together with Father Frost, a loan from the Soviet fraternal people. GDR writers tried to celebrate Stalin's birthday on December 21 with the birth of the Christian Redeemer and to reinterpret the Christian Christmas message in a socialist way, with the Star of Bethlehem as the forerunner of the Red Star.

Has Santa Claus been to prison before?

Yes, unfortunately - and not just for a visit. The Roman emperors Diocletian and Licinius fought the Christians and also threw Bishop Nikolaus von Myra, the historical model of the Santa Claus figure, into prison. In 1087, almost 750 years after his death, Nicholas found himself again in criminal company. Pilgrims returning from Jerusalem stole his bones and took them to Bari, Italy. In a church there they are still venerated as relics today. Up until the Reformation, around 2,200 churches north of the Alps were named after him.

By RND / Simon Benne