1. SAN NICOLÁS / SANTA CLAUS / SANTA CLAUS
Estimated year of creation: 280 AD
Representative God or Prophet: Nicolás de Bari.
Santa Claus's main book: Unknown.
Main deity: Nicolás de Bari.
Headquarters / Capital in the world: Turkey.
Number of faithful around the world: Unknown.
Main exponents: Santa Claus, Rudolph and the elves.
Main symbol of Father Saint Nicholas / Santa Claus:
How did Saint Nicholas of Bari become a North Pole inhabitant who distributes Christmas gifts? The original saint was a Greek man who was born about 280 years after Christ and who became the bishop of Mira, a small Roman city in present-day Turkey. Nicolas of Bari was neither fat nor cheerful, but built a reputation as a rebellious and passionate defender of Church doctrine during the "Great Persecution," when Bibles were burned and priests were forced to renounce Christianity, or they were executed. Nicholas defied these edicts and spent years in jail before Constantine gave Christianity legitimacy in his empire. Nicholas' fame lasted long after his death (on December 6 of an unknown year, in the middle of the fourth century), because he was associated with many miracles. Today he is still worshiped, regardless of his connection to Santa Claus.
Nicolás rose to fame among the saints because he was the patron of numerous groups, from sailors to entire nations; But around the year 1200, according to the historian Gerry Bowler, author of Santa Claus: A Biography , he became known as the patron of children and the bearer of magical gifts for two great stories in his life. In the best-known account, the young Bishop Nicolás saves three young men from a life dedicated to prostitution when he secretly gives three sacks of gold to his indebted father so that he can pay the dowries. "The other story is not so well known, but it was popular in the Middle Ages," Bowler explained. The other story, much more macabre, tells that Nicolás de Bari entered an inn whose owner had just murdered three children and kept their dismembered bodies in barrels in the basement. The bishop not only discovered the crime, but also resurrected the victims. "It was one of the things that made him the patron saint of children who performed miracles." For hundreds of years, Saint Nicholas was the undisputed bearer of gifts and the star of the celebrations that took place on his day, December 6. The saint acquired some features of earlier European deities, such as the Roman god Saturn, or the Norwegian Odin, with a white beard and magical powers, such as the ability to fly. She also made sure that the children followed the rules, prayed, and behaved well. This is how what is known today as the cult of Santa Claus was born.
Basic principles of Santa Claus:
Fundamental requirements, common to all cultures, is that Santa Claus or Father Christmas only brings gifts to children who are good and love their parents very much. Then, on a lower level, it helps a lot to leave a glass of milk with cookies near the tree (in English: Christmas Tree) so that the Christmas pilgrim, Santa Claus, can regain his strength before getting back on his sleigh. flying reindeer. (The Three Wise Men , great friends of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, also request similar requirements from children).
Small description of the belief in Santa Claus:
On Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas , or otherwise, "on the night before Christmas", millions of children around the world go to the restless, nervous bed and hoping that Santa Claus, the old Santa Claus, in the American tradition before the 20th century, Saint Nicholas, will come at dawn to leave you the best gifts inside his "Christmas stockings".
The belief is that Santa Claus, during the dawn of Christmas , flies in his sleigh pulled by reindeer around the world leaving gifts (Santa Claus gifts) for children and adults.
Santa Claus has received different names throughout the history of his own tradition, and still continues to receive different names depending on the geographical location of the fervent and believing children.
These are some of the nicknames (Santa's names) that Santa Claus has had or still receives:
Saint Nicholas or Saint Nicholas: Bishop of the city of Mira, in Asia Minor in the 4th century AD. He was known for the gift of charity with the children and the poor of his community. Once dead and beatified, Saint Nicholas was the patron to which the causes of children and sailors are welcomed. Similarly, in Europe the day of Saint Nicholas was the day of charity and help to the needy.
Sinterklaas: it is the corresponding Dutch denomination of Saint Nicholas. This tradition was carried over to North America when the first Dutch settlers settled in New Amsterdam, later known as New York. For some time this denomination, Sinterklaas, survived the new American culture and was later absorbed by the figure of Santa Claus.
Kris Kringle: This denomination began to be used in North America at the beginning of the 20th century to refer to the old Santa Claus with a red suit, white beard and tassel hat. Kris Kringle actually comes from the Germanic word Christkindl which means "Christ Child".
Father Christmas: Santa Claus or Père Noel, literally "Father Christmas". In Europe the tradition of naming Saint Nicholas (Saint Nicholas) as Santa Claus or, in French, Père Noel, spread. This denomination was exported to the United States when they had already named Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus. The name Father Christmas is less frequent in the USA than Santa Claus.
When Christmas rolls around, the question is heard in many American homes: Who is Santa Claus? Parents take the little ones on their knees and tell what they know, passed down from generation to generation: "On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus rides in his sleigh pulled by flying rendeers from house to house to give presents and gifts to children all around the world ".
So on the eve of Christmas (Christmas Eve) American children are vaccinated against discouragement and hanging from the chimney, your Christmas stocking, relying on the miraculous coming of the holy charity Christmas Eve, Santa Claus. Santa Claus, in countries with a European tradition, shares the same tradition and children await with equal anxiety the arrival of the sleigh pulled by flying reindeer from Lapland and other exotic places. Santa Claus will descend through chimneys or climb walls, and infiltrate through windows to surprise children around the world with fantastic gifts.