Santa Claus is a figure who in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of children well-behaved on the night of Christmas Eve, the day December 24, or St. Nicholas day(December 6). The legend may have been based in part on hagiographic tales about the historical figure of St. Nicholas. An almost identical story is attributed in Greek and Byzantine folklore to Basili of Caesarea. St. Basil’s Day, 1st or 1st January, is considered the time of gift exchange in Greece.
The character was inspired by St. Nicholas, archbishop of Mira in Turkey, in the fourth century. Nicholas used to help anonymously anyone in financial difficulty. He put the bag of gold coins to be offered in the chimney of the houses. He was declared holy after many miracles were attributed to him. Its transformation into a Christmas symbol took place in Germany and from there went the whole world.
While St. Nicholas was originally portrayed in bishop’s attire, today Santa Claus is usually portrayed as a plump, cheerful, white-bearded man in a red jacket with white collar and cuff, red white hem pants, and belt and boots. black leather. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem “A Visit of St. Nicholas” and caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and enhanced through music, radio, television, children’s books, movies, and advertising.
According to myth, Santa Claus lives in the Far North, in a land of eternal snow. In the American version, he lives in his home at the North Pole, while in the British version he is often said to reside in the Korvatunturi Mountains in Lapland, Finland. Santa lives with his wife, Mrs. Santa, countless magical elves and eight or nine flying reindeers. Another popular legend says that he makes a list of children around the world, classifying them according to their behavior and that he delivers gifts, such as toys or candy, to all the well-behaved boys and girls in the world, and occasionally coal to naughty children on Christmas Eve night. Santa achieves this annual feat with the aid of elves, who make toys in the workshop, and reindeer who pull the sleigh.
For a long time, there has been some opposition to teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. Some Christians say the tradition of Santa Claus deviates from religious origins and the true purpose of Christmas. Other critics feel that Santa Claus is an elaborate lie and that it is ethically incorrect for parents to teach their children to believe in their existence. Still, others oppose Santa Claus as a symbol of the commercialization of Christmas, or as an intrusion into their own national traditions. The day to pay homage to Saint Nicholas was December 6, the day the children were given their presents. But that changed to suit the festivities of December 24 and 25, which are the days known to be the probable days of the birth of Jesus Christ, and then Saint Nicholas was honored on this new date.