Who is Santa Claus? The Real Story of St. Nicholas

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What is Santa’s name? How long has Santa Claus been around? Kids sometimes ask these questions, but do we, the grown-ups know the answers? Santa is the man who comes every Christmas to bring presents for the good kids. He is a jolly man in red suit that flies around the world with his reindeer. Is this all to the story?

 

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Actually there is a lot more to Santa than we are told. With the holidays approaching it is a great time to share the real story of the most important guest on Christmas eve – Santa Claus.

Let’s start from the very beginning

 

What is Santa’s name?

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Santa’s real name is St. Nicholas and he lived in the fourth century in a town called Myra in Asia Minor, today Turkey. He was known for his kindness and for helping the poor by giving them secret presents. There are several legends and many stories about St. Nicholas and his life.

 

Who came up with Santa Claus?

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Where did the idea of Santa come from? Who came up with it? The stories about St. Nicholas became unpopular in many European countries during the 16th century after the reformation. Still, someone had to deliver the presents so every country had a version of Santa Claus. In Austria and Germany it was an angel baby, in England it was Father Christmas and so on.

 

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The name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch “Sinterklaas” which was brought by Dutch settlers in the USA together with the stories about St. Nicholas.

 

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Later on during the Victorian era, St. Nicholas became popular again when poets, writers and artists revisited the old stories. In some countries St. Nicholas day is still celebrated on the 6th December.

 

How old is Saint Nicholas?

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The bishop of Myra St. Nicholas died at the age of 73. Santa is a character based on this historical man who was born in 270 A.D, this means Santa Claus is over 1700 years old!

 

How long has Santa Claus been around?

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Santa or St. Nicholas has lived during the fourth century. The idea of Santa Claus as we know it now, became popular after 1823. So, it is safe to say that with one name or another Santa has been around for a very long time. We hope that after reading this you know Santa much better and these facts will not spoil the magic for you this Christmas.

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