The Story of Santa Claus

Did you know how Santa Claus came to exist?

To let you know, prior to the existence of Santa Claus, there was a catholic Saint who made a traditional visit on December 25.

“When the Dutch came to America and established the colony of New Amsterdam, their children enjoyed the traditional ‘visit of Saint Nicholas’ on December 5, for the Dutch had kept this ancient Catholic customs even after the Reformation.” (Source)

Then, time came that the Saint Nicholas figure was replaced by a new figure called Sinter Klass by the English who were Protestants. And soon it became tradition that the mysterious man will visit the children from December 5 to Christmas and he’s called the Santa Claus.

“… Later, when England took over the colony and it became New York, the kindly figure of Sinter Klass (pronounced like Santa Claus) soon aroused among the English children the desire of having such a heavenly visitor come to their homes, too.

“The English settlers were glad and willing to comply with anxious wish of their children. However, the figure of a Catholic saint and bishop was not acceptable in their eyes, especially since many of them were Presbyterians, to whom bishop was repugnant. In addition, they did not celebrate the feasts of saints according to the ancient Catholic calendar.

“The dilemma was solved by transferring the visit of the mysterious man whom the Dutch called Santa Claus from December 5 to Christmas, and by introducing a radical change in the figure itself. It was not merely a ‘disguise’, but the ancient saint was completely replaced by an entirely different character.” (Source)

But, did you know that the name Santa Claus refers to the pagan Germanic god Thor?

“Behind the name Santa Claus actually stands the figure of the pagan Germanic god Thor (After whom Thursday is named).” (source)

Source: Weiser, Francis X. Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, n.p.: The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in the State of New York, 1963.

2 thoughts on “The Story of Santa Claus”

  1. Thanks for an interesting story! I hadn’t heard this version of Sinter Klass before. You’re never too old to hear another Santa story! :-)

  2. Einen huebschen Blog hast du hier, warum kannte ich den denn noch nicht. Naja jetzt habe ich Ihn gespeichert und werde in der naechsten Zeit oefters vorbei schauen. Bin auf jeden Fall schon auf deine neuen Posts gespannt.

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