Who is Santa Claus?

Santa ClausUnless you are five years old or just in denial, we all know that Santa Claus is just a a mythical figure or fictitious character, something to remind us of Christmas.

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply “Santa”, has legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in Western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on December 24, the night before Christmas. In some European countries however, children receive their presents on St. Nicholas’ Day, December 6.

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, has been based on the Christian bishop and gift-giver Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, which is now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, especially presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.

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