Where does Santa come from?

What are the cultural and/or religious origins of Santa Claus? Who are his precedessors or similar personas in different cultures today or in the past?

Any other interesting facts related to it?

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Accepted Answer

Accepted: Myth and History

Santa Claus (the persona) is usually said to originate from either the North Pole in the Arctic, Lapland, or (occasionally) Greenland. The character of “Santa Claus” is a festive myth, largely originating from American Christmas tradition, and becoming popular in the early-to-mid 19th century. The character itself is derived from a number of Western Christian historical and imaginary figures. These include (though not exclusively): Saint Nicholas of Myra; the Dutch character of Sinterklaas; and the English/British character of Father Christmas.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (traditionally 15 March 270 – 6 December 343) is the patron saint of children, and has been celebrated as a great gift-giver in several Western European and Central European countries for centuries.

Sinterklaas is a mythical figure representing Saint Nicholas himself, and plays a central role in the celebration of Christmas in the Netherlands and Belgium. When the North American colony of New Amsterdam was established by the Dutch in the 17th century they brought the tradition of “Sinterklaas” with them, which later became the foundational image for Santa Claus.

Father Christmas is figure of folklore that dates back to the 16th century in England, and was often rendered as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur. The character is intended to embody the spirit of Christmas cheer, as well as peace, joy, revelry and feasting. Due to the cross-cultural influences between Britain and North America, Father Christmas and Santa Claus are today often considered to be synonymous.


Coca Cola

Coca Cola created santa. That’s why he is red.

You got bugs!

Dude, I just spend 25 minutes writing a really cool answer to shit, and then you site timed-out or burped or something, and I lost all my work. I’m not doing it again.

Christian Missionaries created Christmas to take the place of pagan Winter Equinox celebrations, bc that was the hardest thing to make pagans give up when converting them. St Nick was originally a legend from Turkey who inherited a lot of wealth and gave it away. I had a big part with Constantine in here, but i’m not typing it again.

The Dutch then celebrated Xmas the most (Sinter Klaas) and this is how it got popular in the US in NYC (New Amsterdam) in the late 1700s. The Americans then ran away with it and it hasn’t stopped.

The reindeer names came from the Dutch as well, Dunder and Blixem (Donner and Blitzen) mean Thunder and LIghtning. Story from late 1800s.

Fix the bug where this box times out, otherwise a lot of people who answer questions aren’t coming back!

I’ll try to post some stuff later.

psychedelic mushrooms

I once read somewhere online that around the pagan Winter Equinox celebrations, psychedelic red and white “fly agaric” mushrooms grow around the base of pine trees (like Presents) when the food has been scarce. Local shamans who knew and expected this harvest each year were usually the elders of the groups (white hair n beards), they would go around collecting the mushrooms dressed in red and white in honour of the yearly mushroom feast and when he was delivering them to the rest of the community if buildings where snowed in as it was the peak of winter he would drop them down the chimney. The people who receive the mushrooms as gifts would eat the mushrooms look outside and see reindeer and with the psychedelic properties of the mushrooms could easily think they saw flying reindeer.

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